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Who wears the trousers in the family? Intra-household resource control, subjective expectations and human capital investment

Author

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  • Alex Armand

    () (Navarra Center for International Development)

Abstract

This paper studies how the interaction between intra-household allocation of resources and parental beliefs about the returns to education influences human capital investment among poor households. For this purpose, I study a conditional cash transfer program in the Republic of Macedonia, aiming at improving secondary school enrollment among children in poor households. For identification I exploit the random allocation of payments either to mothers or household heads, together with a unique information on parental subjective expectations of returns to schooling. I show that targeting mothers leads to an increase in secondary school enrollment only for children whose parental returns are sufficiently high at the beginning of the program. This effect is associated with an increase in individual expenditure shares on education for this group. I find no differential impact for other inputs, such as monitoring of school attendance and time use. Overall, I show that the effect of channeling resources to mothers is strictly related to heterogeneity in parental perceived returns to schooling.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Armand, 2015. "Who wears the trousers in the family? Intra-household resource control, subjective expectations and human capital investment," NCID Working Papers 03/2015, Navarra Center for International Development, University of Navarra.
  • Handle: RePEc:nva:unnvaa:wp03-2015
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    File URL: http://ncid.unav.edu/download/file/fid/493
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francine D. Blau & Marianne A. Ferber, 1991. "Career Plans and Expectations of Young Women and Men: The Earnings Gap and Labor Force Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(4), pages 581-607.
    2. Jennifer Ward-Batts, 2008. "Out of the Wallet and into the Purse: Using Micro Data to Test Income Pooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 325-351.
    3. Gustavo J. Bobonis, 2009. "Is the Allocation of Resources within the Household Efficient? New Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 453-503, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. David K. Evans & Anna Popova, 2017. "Cash Transfers and Temptation Goods," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(2), pages 189-221.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intrahousehold; Conditional cash transfers; expectations; returns to schooling; gender; cognitive biases;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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