Northwestern Events Calendar


Seminar in Development Economics

When: Thursday, May 4, 2023
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM Central

Where: Kellogg Global Hub, 1410, 2211 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Kayla Johnson  

Group: Department of Economics: Seminar in Development Economics

Category: Academic


Imran Rasul (UCL): “Families as Drivers of Inequality: Experimental Evidence from an Early Childhood Intervention” with Pedro Carneiro and Francesca Salvati (paper link) 
Abstract: Families shape inequality across individuals, by determining whether initial endowment differences across children are magnified or equalized through the intrahousehold allocation of resources over time. We study the link between early life circumstances, parental investments and child outcomes, over time and across multiple siblings in families in rural Northern Nigeria, where households reside in extreme poverty and sibling rivalry effects can be first order. We do so by evaluating a pre-natal intervention providing information and cash transfers to families triggered by the verified pregnancy of a target child. We track outcomes and child-specific parental inputs across older and younger siblings of the target child in 3600 families over four years. We find that unlike for the target child, stunting outcomes for older siblings do not improve, because they are too old when the intervention begins to gain from it in terms of height. We also document muted gains on height for younger siblings, and show this is because of endogenous responses to the intervention through shorter birth spacing between the target child and younger siblings, labor supply responses of mothers, and fade out of knowledge on specific peri-natal practices. However, on a raft of other outcomes such as health, nutrition and parental inputs more relevant outside the first 1000-days of life window, outcomes significantly shift forward for all siblings. Our results show parents behave as if to equalize inputs across siblings, despite differences in their physical endowments. Calculating the annualized IRR to the intervention based on this fuller set of family impacts, leads them to rise ten-fold over those based on target child outcomes alone. JEL: I15, O12. 

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