Interdisciplinary Centers, Units, and Projects

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 366
  • Publication
    Divorce-Law Changes, Household Bargaining, and Married Women's Labor Supply Revisited
    (2007-05-10) Stevenson, Betsey
    Divorce law changes made in the 1970s affected marital formation, dissolution, and bargaining within marriage. By altering the terms of the marital contract these legal changes impacted the incentives for women to enter and remain in the labor force. Whereas earlier work had suggested that the impact of unilateral divorce on female employment depended critically on laws governing property division, I show that these results are not robust to alternative specifications and controls. I find instead that unilateral divorce led to an increase in both married and unmarried female labor force participation, regardless of the underlying property laws.
  • Publication
    Gender targeting of unconditional income transfers and child nutritional status: Experimental evidence from the Bolivian Amazon
    (2014-02-14) Undurraga, Eduardo; Zycherman, Ariela; Yiu, Julie; Behrman, Jere R; Leonard, William R.; Godoy, Ricardo A.
    Observational studies suggest that women’s income benefits children’s health and nutritional status, as well as education, more than men’s income, apparently because women are more likely to shift marginal resources to their children. These studies have influenced policies such as conditional cash transfers, which typically target women. However, previous studies have been unable to control for unobserved heterogeneity in child endowments and parental preferences. We report the results of a trial that allocated randomly one-time in-kind income in the form of edible rice (the main staple and cash crop in the study area) or rice seeds to the female or male household head (edible rice transfers, range: 30-395 kg/household; rice seeds: 5.9 kg/household). The trial took place in a society of native Amazonian forager-farmers in Bolivia (2008-2009). Outcomes included four anthropometric indicators of short-run nutritional status of 848 children from 40 villages. We found that the transfers produced no discernible impact on short-run (~5 months) nutritional status of children, or any differential effects between girls and boys by the gender of the household head who received the transfers. These null results probably relate to specific social norms of the Tsimane’, such as pooling of food resources, shared preferences, and relatively equal bargaining power between Tsimane’ women and men. The results highlight the probable importance of culture in household resource allocation and suggest that gender targeting in cash transfer programs might not increase investments in children in societies where women and men have more egalitarian household relationships
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  • Publication
    The Records of the Asylum for Orphan Girls
    (2012-05-01) Fraas, Arthur Mitchell
    Extended essay on UPenn Ms. Codex 1623 in four parts. The essay discusses a 2012 manuscript acquisition of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries which details the early history of the Orphan's Asylum at Lambeth. See attached spreadsheet for a list of Girls who entered the Asylum 1758-1760.
  • Publication
    Child mortality differentials in Sudan
    (1981-08-01) Farah, Adbul-Aziz; Preston, Samuel
    Sudan presents an excellent opportunity for studying mortality conditions in poor countries. It is one of the 25 "least developed" countries by U.N. designation, most of whom have very little information on mortality and general health conditions. As the largest African country in area, Sudan is also a land of rich ecological contrast, stretching from desert areas in the North through savannah areas to dense equatorial jungle in the South. The northern portions are Arabic and Islamic, the southern portions black African. The 1955/56 census enumerated 597 tribes speaking some 115 languages. Aridity in the North and swamps in the South have retarded the development of these areas and fostered nomadism, population concentration is greatest in the middle belt and particularly along the Nile and its tributaries. This paper has since been published as: "Child Mortality Differentials in Sudan," by Abdul-Aziz Farah; Samuel H. Preston in, Population and Development Review, Vol. 8, No. 2. (Jun., 1982), pp. 365-383.
  • Publication
    What Determines Adult Cognitive Skills? Impacts of Pre-Schooling, Schooling and Post-Schooling Experiences in Guatemala
    (2006-04-01) Behrman, Jere R; Hoddinott, John; Maluccio, John A; Soler-Hampejsek, Erica; Behrman, Emily L; Martorell, Reynaldo; Ramirez-Zea, Manuel; Stein, Aryeh D
    Most investigations of the importance of and the determinants of adult cognitive skills assume that (a) they are produced primarily by schooling and (b) schooling is statistically predetermined. But these assumptions may lead to misleading inferences about impacts of schooling and of pre-schooling and post-schooling experiences on adult cognitive skills. This study uses an unusually rich longitudinal data set collected over 35 years in Guatemala to investigate production functions for adult (i) reading-comprehension and (ii) non-verbal cognitive skills as dependent on behaviorally-determined pre-schooling, schooling and post-schooling experiences. Major results are: (1) Schooling has significant and substantial impact on adult reading comprehension (but not on adult non-verbal cognitive skills) —but estimates of this impact are biased upwards substantially if there is not control for behavioral determinants of schooling in the presence of persistent unobserved factors such as genetic endowments and/or if family background factors that appear to be correlated with genetic endowments are included among the first-stage instruments. (2) Both pre-schooling and post-schooling experiences have substantial significant impacts on one or both of the adult cognitive skill measures that tend to be underestimated if these pre- and post-schooling experiences are treated as statistically predetermined—in contrast to the upward bias for schooling, which suggests that the underlying physical and job-related components of genetic endowments are negatively correlated with those for cognitive skills. (3) The failure in most studies to incorporate pre- and post-schooling experiences in the analysis of adult cognitive skills or outcomes affected by adult skills is likely to lead to misleading over-emphasis on schooling relative to these pre-and post-schooling experiences. (4) Gender differences in the coefficients of the adult cognitive skills production functions are not significant, suggesting that most of the fairly substantial differences in adult cognitive skills favoring males on average originate from gender differences in completed grades of schooling and in experience in skilled jobs favoring males. These four sets of findings are of substantial interest in themselves. But they also have important implications for broader literatures, pointing to limitations in the cross-country growth literature of using schooling of adults to represent human capital, supporting hypotheses about the importance of childhood nutrition and work complexity in explaining the “Flynn effect” of substantial increases in measured cognitive skills over time, and questioning the interpretation of studies that report productivity impacts of cognitive skills without controlling for the endogeneity of such skills.
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    Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households
    (2008-05-23) Greenwood, Jeremy; Guner, Nezih
    Since World War II there has been: (i) a rise in the fraction of time that married households allocate to market work, (ii) an increase in the rate of divorce, and (iii) a decline in the rate of marriage. It is argued here that labor-saving technological progress in the household sector can explain these facts. This makes it more feasible for singles to maintain their own home, and for married women to work. To address this question, a search model of marriage and divorce, which incorporates household production, is developed. An extension looks back at the prewar era.
  • Publication
    Care Labor Demand Shocks and Inequality: How Childcare Costs Exacerbate Inequality among American Families
    (2022-03-15) Gonalons-Pons, Pilar; Marinescu, Ioana
    This article argues that care infrastructures can shape family income inequality and examines access to childcare services in the US as a case study. We propose that market-priced childcare systems generate inequalities in how births impact mothers’ income contributions to families and aggravate family income inequality as a result. Using the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) merged with state-level childcare prices, we estimate individual fixed effects regression models for the consequences of births on family income and on its proximate determinants: mothers’ labor supply and earnings, and partners’ labor supply and earnings. Our models include state and year fixed effects and identify the impact of childcare costs from within-state variation in childcare prices. Our analyses show that births increase family income inequality due to the negative impact of births on mothers’ earnings and that the negative impact of births on mothers’ earnings is not compensated by increases in partners’ earnings or income transfers. We find that higher childcare costs accentuate birth earnings penalties for mothers without college degrees, but not for mothers with college degrees. In all, we show that childcare costs exacerbate family income gaps between women without and with a college degree by 29 percentage points.
  • Publication
    Rural Poverty and Disability in LMICs
    (2020-05-27) Gaiha, Raghav; Mathur, Shantanu; Kulkarni, Vani S.
    Disability is neither a purely medical nor a purely social phenomenon. Rather, it is an outcome of their interplay. The main contributions of our study are two-fold: (i) a synthesis of the extant literature on the links between poverty and disability in LMICs. However, the studies focused on these links in rural areas are sparse. (ii) As rural economies-specifically, agriculture- continue to play an important role in economic growth, it is necessary to deepen our understanding of factors associated with rural disabilities, their association with rural employment and, finally, whether disabilities are associated with rural poverty. We use panel data for India and Ethiopia to illustrate these linkages, using rigorous econometric methodology. In particular, an important contribution is to corroborate the bidirectional association between disability and poverty, noted in many but validated in a few. The CRPD has ensured a concomitant shift in global initiatives, most notably the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which explicitly recognise disability as a major impediment to elimination of poverty and hunger. In the current development discourse, disability has thus acquired high priority. Although there is a plethora of legislation banning discrimination against the disabled in LMICs-including India and Ethiopia and other LMICs-discrimination against disabled women and elderly is rampant. While it is imperative to fix the policy failures, a remedial strategy has to mainstream the disabled in a sustainable rural development framework, with a key role of the community and mass media in dismantling the barriers to the participation of the disabled in the political, economic and social spheres. Although the challenges are formidable, our study offers grounds for optimism.
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    Technology and the Changing Family: A Unified Model of Marriage, Divorce, Educational Attainment and Married Female Labor-Force Participation
    (2012-01-03) Greenwood, Jeremy; Guner, Nezih; Kocharkov, Georgi; Santos, Cezar
    Marriage has declined since 1960, with the drop being bigger for non-college educated individuals versus college educated ones. Divorce has increased, more so for the non-college educated vis-a-vis the college educated. Additionally, assortative mating has risen; i.e., people are more likely to marry someone of the same educational level today than in the past. A unified model of marriage, divorce, educational attainment and married female labor-force participation is developed and estimated to fit the postwar U.S. data. The role of technological progress in the household sector and shifts in the wage structure for explaining these facts is gauged.