Economics of Religion
Anticipated Fertility and Educational Investment:
Evidence from the One-Child-Policy in China
Does future anticipated fertility affect educational investment? The number of children planned is usually unobserved and affected by variables that are correlated with the demand for education. Theory suggests that anticipated fertility can affect the returns to education, the resources available for family consumption and the incentives to find a partner. This paper uses varying eligibility criteria for second child permits during the One-Child Policy in China as a natural experiment, which provides plausible exogenous variation in the cost of the second child. I use second child permits that are conditional on time-invariant individual characteristics and show that they have a strong positive effect on the likelihood of having a second child between 1990 and 2005. They are therefore expected to change anticipated fertility among compliers. I find that fulfilling an eligibility criterion at secondary school age increases the time invested in education and the likelihood of continuing schooling after middle school. The effect appears concentrated in the subset of compliers: individuals who increase their anticipated number of children as a response to eligibility. It can be explained by the high cost of raising children, by the second child having at most a short-term effect on parental labour supply and by a skewed sex ratio.
God insures those who pay? Formal insurance and religious offerings in Ghana
Work in Progress
Marriage Sorting and Parental Search: Data from China
with Weiwei Ren, Jeanne Bovet, Paul Seabright and Charlotte Wang
This study investigates marriage patterns and underlying preferences in China. We estimate spousal preferences based on the evaluation of a series of randomly created profiles and connect our results to recent marriage patterns in the overall population. Data is collected on parents (or other relatives) who search for a spouse on behalf of their unmarried adult child and on unmarried students. We confirm that only male profiles have a higher likelihood to be selected when they indicate high income and real estate ownership. Parents always dislike a profile with less education than their son or daughter. We do not find evidence for a dislike of female profiles with high education or income. However, some parents may have too high expectations on the educational level of their son-in-law. We find that parents mostly prefer male profiles with a similar age than their child. Parents prefer younger female profiles. Yet, they also accept women who are slightly older when their son is in his 20s. If marriages formed according to parents' preferences, in more matches men would have one educational level more than their wives and would be between 3 and 8 years older. If marriages formed according to students' preferences, matches would be more assortative on age and education.
The Non-Linear Effect of Financial Resources on Intimate Partner Violence
with Paul Seabright and Jonathan Stiglitz
Does an increase in the financial resources of partnered women increase or decrease the likelihood of domestic intimate partner violence (IPV)? We propose a model which combines partner choice and intra-household bargaining, in which violent behavior is influenced both by personal traits and by economic circumstances. In the model, women are more likely to commit to (e.g. marry) a less violent partner. However, the effect of an exogenous increase in the woman's financial resources on her risk of suffering IPV depends on her degree of commitment. If her costs of leaving the relationship are low, an increase in her resources can decrease her risk of IPV; if the costs of leaving are high, it may increase her risk of IPV. Using a novel data set of 5000 Brazilian women interviewed twice, we find that being married is associated with lower levels of IPV. In the fixed effects specification, an increase in income is associated with an increase in IPV only for non-married women. We confirm this result causally using data from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Northern Ecuador. Transfers given to women decrease their likelihood of experiencing IPV, but significantly more so when they are not married.
Bovet J., Raiber E., Ren W., Wang C., Seabright P. Parent-offspring conflict over mate choice: An experimental investigation in China. Forthcoming. British Journal of Psychology