Civil Conflict, Sex Ratio and Intimate Partner Violence in Rwanda

Abstract: This paper examines the long-term impact of civil conflict on intimate partner violence and women’s decision-making power using post-genocide data from Rwanda. Household survey data collected 11 years after the genocide indicate that women who became married after the genocide experienced significantly increased intimate partner violence and decreased decision-making power relative to women who became married before. The effect was greater for women in localities with high genocide intensity. I find that variation in the marriage market sex ratio across localities and over time explains part of the effect of the genocide on intimate partner violence.

Link to HICN WP #175

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Women’s Choice to Pursue Professional Careers (joint with Sarah Kroeger)

Abstract: We examine the impact of assisted reproductive technology on women’s choice to pursue professional careers. We hypothesize that the availability of assisted reproductive technology increases the expected benefits of a professional degree by allowing women to delay childbearing in their 20s and 30s while establishing their careers, thereby reaping greater financial benefit from human capital investment. We exploit the state and time level variation in the enactment of insurance mandates to cover infertility treatments in employer sponsored health plans, as well as cohort variation in women’s age at the time the laws are passed. These insurance mandates dramatically increase access to assisted reproductive technology. Using a triple-difference strategy, we find that amandate to cover assisted reproductive technology does increase the probability that a woman chooses to invest in a professional degree and to work in a professional career.

Link to USF working paper

“Hobos”, “Stars” and Immigrant Entrepreneurship (joint with Shulamit Kahn and Megan MacGarvie)

Abstract: We use data from a large survey of scientists and highly educated individuals to study determinants of science and non-science entrepreneurship for immigrants and natives. Conditional on standard factors, immigrants are significantly more likely to become entrepreneurs even after controlling for their relative position on the ability spectrum (measured by wage residuals.) This result is consistent with a Roy model assuming immigrants have high entrepreneurial ability. There is a hobo/star pattern only for non-science entrepreneurship. For science entrepreneurship, only middle and high-ability individuals enter entrepreneurship, consistent with high entry costs. These findings have important implications for immigration policy. The use of NSF data does not imply NSF endorsement of the research, research methods, or conclusions contained in this report. Any errors are our own responsibility.


Intergenerational Mobility and Health Inequalities at Birth: The Role of Mothers, Fathers and Assortative Mating (joint with Osea Giuntella) 

Abstract: This paper exploits a novel dataset linking the birth records of two generations in Florida to examine how the intergenerational transmission of birth weight differs by parent gender. Using confidential information on parents’ identity, we link the records of all infants born between 1989 and 2013 to the birth records of their parents who were born in Florida between 1970 and 1988. The causal effect of parent birth weight is estimated using parental grandmother fixed effects. Our results reveal a strong and significant transmission of birth weight from fathers to children. By comparison, father’s birth weight has a smaller impact on the child’s birth weight relative to mother’s birth weight, but the effect is still sizeable. Socio-economic status mediates the intergenerational transmission of birth weight from mothers to children, but we find no mediating effect for fathers. Mothers with lowbirthweight are more likely to have partners thatwere lowbirthweight, which is consistent with previous studies showing assortative mating based on socioeconomic status and anthropometric characteristics, for which birth weight is a significant predictor. These findings imply that, by substantially affecting the birth outcomes of the next generation, paternal health endowments at birth and assortative mating will in turn exacerbate birth inequalities and their persistence across generations. Draft coming soon!