Department of Economics
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: University of Wisconsin-Madison
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|July 2019||Migration and Informal Insurance|
with Costas Meghir, Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Melanie Morten: w26082
Do new migration opportunities for rural households change the nature and extent of informal risk sharing? We experimentally document that randomly offering poor rural households subsidies to migrate leads to a 40% improvement in risk sharing in their villages. We explain this finding using a model of endogenous migration and risk sharing. When migration is risky, the network can facilitate migration by insuring that risk, which in turn crowds-in risk sharing when new migration opportunities arise. We estimate the model and find that welfare gains from migration subsidies are 42% larger, compared with the welfare gains without spillovers, once we account for the changes in risk sharing. Our analysis illustrates that (a) ignoring the spillover effects on the network gives an incomplete pict...
|April 2015||Insurance in extended family networks|
with Orazio Attanasio, Costas Meghir: w21059
We investigate partial insurance and group risk sharing in extended family networks. Our approach is based on decomposing income shocks into group aggregate and idiosyncratic components, allowing us to measure the extent to which each component is insured. We apply our framework to extended family networks in the United States by exploiting the unique intergenerational structure of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. We find that over 60% of shocks to household income are potentially insurable within extended family networks. However, we find little evidence that the extended family provides insurance for such idiosyncratic shocks.
|Decentralizing Education Resources: School Grants in Senegal|
with Pedro Carneiro, Oswald Koussihouèdé, Nathalie Lahire, Costas Meghir: w21063
The impact of school resources on the quality of education in developing countries may depend crucially on whether resources are targeted efficiently. In this paper we use a randomized experiment to analyze the impact of a school grants program in Senegal, which decentralized a portion of the country’s education budget. We find large positive effects on test scores at younger grades that persist at least two years. We show that these effects are concentrated among schools that focused funds on human resources improvements rather than school materials, suggesting that teachers and principals may be a central determinant of school quality.