Sister competition and birth order effects among marriage-aged girls: Evidence from a field experiment in rural Bangladesh
By Stephanie Zhong
Early marriage before the age of 18 is prevalent among adolescent girls in Bangladesh, but the timing of marriage is not uniform across daughters within a household, with some sisters marrying earlier than others. Using survey data from a novel field experiment from rural Bangladesh, I find that girls ages 10-21 with lower birth order tend to be married at a younger age, even when controlling for confounding nature of household size on birth order. Additionally, girls with younger sisters are more likely to be married and at a younger age than girls with younger brothers. The findings on dowry are inclusive.
Advisors: Dr. Erica Field and Dr. Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: D13, J13, O15
Endogeneity in the Decision to Migrate: Changes in the Self-Selection of Puerto Rican Migrants before, during, and after the Great Recession
By Aasha Reddy
Migrants self-select on characteristics such as income. We use the U.S. Census’ ACS and PRCS to study changes in selection patterns of Puerto Rican migrants to the to the U.S. mainland (50 states) before, during, and after the Great Recession (2005 to 2016). We construct counterfactual income densities to compare incomes of Puerto Rican migrants to the mainland versus incomes of island residents under equivalent returns to skill. We examine where Puerto Rican migrants to the mainland tend to fall in the island’s income distribution and find that Puerto Rican migrants tend to come from the top 20% of the island’s income distribution. This pattern remained stable with little to no effect of the Great Recession on selectivity patterns.
Advisors: William Darity and Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: J15, J61, O15
By Suhani Jalota
As the population of urban poor living in slums increases, governments are trying to relocate people into government–provided free housing. Slum redevelopment affects every part of a household’s livelihood, but most importantly the health and wellbeing of younger generations. This paper investigates the effect of slum redevelopment schemes on child stunting levels. Data was collected in forty–one buildings under the slum–redevelopment program in Mumbai. The study demonstrates through a fixed effect regression analysis that an additional year of living in the building is associated with an increase in the height–for–age Z–score by 0.124 standard deviations. Possible explanations include an improvement in the overall hygienic environment, sanitation conditions, indoor air pollution, and access to health and water facilities. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that water contamination, loss of livelihood and increased expenses could worsen health outcomes for residents. This study prompts more research on the health effects of slum redevelopment projects, which are becoming increasingly common in the rapidly urbanizing developing world.
Advisor: Erica Field, Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: O12, O14, O17, O18, O22 | Tagged:
The Impact of Micro-Banking on Health: Evidence from Self-Help Group Involvement and Child Nutrition
By Madeline Mckelway
Low income is only one nancial problem that poor families in developing countries face; impoverished households must also face irregularity of their low incomes. Self-help groups (SHGs) can enhance consumption stability by relaxing savings and credit constraints. In this study, I investigate the extent to which SHGs improve a particular dimension of household wellbeing: child nutrition. I analyze households aliated with the SHGs started by the People’s Education and Development Organization (P.E.D.O.) in rural Rajasthan, India. Children who had greater levels of exposure to household SHG membership at a young age have healthier anthropometric statuses than their siblings who had relatively less. This relationship does not appear to be driven by events coinciding with SHG involvement or by the tendency for certain children, who were also exposed to SHGs, to receive better nutrition than their siblings. These endings suggest that SHGs could improve child nutrition.
Advisor: Erica Field, Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: O1, O12, O15, O16, O22 | Tagged: