Patrilocality and human capital accumulation
Anthropologists estimate that 70 percent of human societies are patrilocal, meaning that adult sons reside with their parents, and that wives go to live with their husbands' families upon marriage. Yet very little is known about how this widespread social norm influences intrahousehold resource allocation and, through this, economic development. This paper examines the effects of patrilocality on schooling and household educational expenditures in Tajikistan. To identify the causal effect of living in a three versus two generation household on these outcomes, exogenous variation in housing availability across communities is exploited. It is shown that the impacts of living in a three generation household are important for both school enrolment and for educational spending. The results suggest that one reason why patrilocal societies remain poorer than those with nuclear household norms is that three generation households make relatively few human capital investments in the youngest generation. Patrilocality, which probably evolved to solve coordination problems in agrarian societies, may thus be a cause rather than simply a correlate of low educational attainment in developing countries. Copyright (c) 2007 The Author Journal compilation (c) 2007 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development .
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Volume (Year): 15 (2007)
Issue (Month): (October)
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