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Changes in Family Structures and Consequences

Paper Session

Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (PST)

Marriott Marquis, Balboa
Hosted By: American Economic Association
  • Chair: Aloysius Siow, University of Toronto

The Cost of Bad Parents: Evidence from the Effects of Parental Incarceration on Children's Education

Carolina Arteaga
,
University of California-Los Angeles

Abstract

This paper provides evidence that parental incarceration increases children's educational attainment. I collect criminal records for 90,000 low-income parents who have been convicted of a crime in Colombia, and combine it with administrative data on the educational attainment of their children. I exploit exogenous variation in parental incarceration resulting from the random assignment of defendants to judges with different propensities to convict and incarcerate. My identification strategy differs from the usual judge IV application because I model incarceration as two stage decision problem: First conviction, and then incarceration. I exploit judge leniency along these two different margins. Intuitively, I take advantage of the fact that I can compare children of parents who faced similar judge conviction leniency, but had different incarceration leniency. I derive a new expression that extends the Local Average Treatment Effect concept, to a setting with two sources of unobserved treatment heterogeneity. I find that conditional on conviction, parental incarceration increases education by 0.8 years for children whose parents are on the margin of incarceration. This positive effect is larger for boys, violent crimes, and cases in which the incarcerated parent is the mother

High Sex Ratios and Premarital Investments: The Implications of Imperfect Commitment

Junjian Yi
,
National University of Singapore
V. Bhaskar
,
University of Texas-Austin
Wenchao Li
,
National University of Singapore

Abstract

We propose a model of imperfect commitment within marriage, and show how this affects
premarital investments in children. A male-biased sex ratio induces families with a son
to increase total investments, and to shift the composition towards physical capital and
away from human capital. Empirical evidence from the China Family Panel Studies survey
is consistent with the predictions. When the sex ratio is biased towards males, parents of
boys, relative to those of girls, are more likely to migrate, and to increase housing investment
at the expense of lower child educational investment. Our results highlight the di erent roles
of different forms of capital in multidimensional marriage matching.

A Matching Model of Co-Residence with a Family Network: Empirical Evidence from China

Xiaoyu Xia
,
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Naijia Guo
,
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Junsen Zhang
,
Chinese University of Hong Kong

Abstract

We develop a co-residence model between young adults and the elderly as a novel
application of Shapley–Shubik–Becker bilateral matching framework. Our model captures
the competition between adult children as well as between parents and parents-in-law.
It extends the Shapley–Shubik–Becker model by restricting potential matching choices
through a family network. Using data from the China Family Panel Study, we estimate
our model through a network simulation method to fill in the marriage links that are not
directly observed in the data. We find that the child-side and parent-side competitions
predicted by our model match well with the patterns observed in the data. In addition,
we conduct counterfactual experiments to quantify the heterogeneous effects of changes in
housing prices and fertility policy reform on intergenerational co-residence arrangements
in China.

A Century of Changes in American Family Formation

Laura Salisbury
,
York University
Jeanne Lafortune
,
Catholic University of Chile
Aloysius Siow
,
University of Toronto

Abstract

Marriage and fertility rates have fallen significantly from the beginning of the twentieth century into the twenty first century. There were decades long exceptions such as the baby boom and run up in divorce rates in the eighties. The marriage rate of college education women relative to non-college educated women fell in the first half of the twentieth century and then increased in the second half. For most of the twentieth century, marriage and fertility for woman were tied events. Since the seventies, the link between marriage and fertility have loosen significantly. Shotgun marriages, which were a significant share of marriages in the first half of the century, have essentially disappeared. The share of American adults between forty and sixty living alone have also increased over the twentieth century. The paper first documents the above changes. Then it investigates how changes in family laws, availability of reproductive technologies, household technologies, educational attainment and labor demand explain these changes in family structure. We also explore the role of peer effects in affecting these changes.
Discussant(s)
Jeanne Lafortune
,
Catholic University of Chile
Aloysius Siow
,
University of Toronto
V. Bhaskar
,
University of Texas-Austin
Kirsten Cornelson
,
University of Notre Dame
JEL Classifications
  • J1 - Demographic Economics