D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics
Household Behavior and Family Economics
Limited attention and selective memory are key behavioral factors identified in the literature on cognitive biases and economic outcomes. We investigate how events trigger selective recall and thus change economic behavior. Following public disagreement between German and Greek politicians, Greek consumers drastically reduced their purchased of German automobiles - especially in areas affected by German reprisals during World War II.
We experimentally test the impact of expanding access to basic bank accounts in Uganda, Malawi, and Chile. Over two years, 17 percent, 10 percent, and 3 percent of treatment individuals made five or more deposits, respectively. Average monthly deposits for them were at the 79th, 91st, and 96th percentiles of baseline savings. Survey data show no clearly discernible intention–to–treat effects on savings or any downstream outcomes.
We study whether individuals save more when information about their savings is shared with another village member (a “monitor”). We focus on whether the monitor’s effectiveness depends on her network position. Central monitors may be better able to disseminate information, and more proximate monitors may pass information to individuals who interact with the saver frequently. In 30 villages, we randomly assign monitors. Average monitors increase savings by 35 percent.
When people can self-insure via migration, they may have less need for informal risk sharing. At the same time, informal insurance may reduce the need to migrate. To understand the joint determination of migration and risk sharing I study a dynamic model of risk sharing with limited commitment frictions and endogenous temporary migration. First, I characterize the model. I demonstrate theoretically how migration may decrease risk sharing. I decompose the welfare effect of migration into the change in income and the change in the endogenous structure of insurance.
The welfare impact of expanding access to bank accounts depends on whether accounts crowd out pre-existing financial relationships, or whether private gains from accounts are shared within social networks. To study the effect of accounts on financial linkages, we provided free bank accounts to a random subset of 885 households. Within households, we randomized which spouse was offered an account and find no evidence of negative spillovers to spouses.
The paper reports the result of an experimental game on asset integration and risk taking. We and some evidence that winnings in earlier rounds affect risk taking in subsequent rounds, but no evidence that real life wealth outside the experiment affects risk taking. Controlling for past winnings, participants receiving a low endowment in a round engage in more risk taking. We test a 'keeping-up-with-the-Joneses' hypothesis and and some evidence that subjects seek to keep up with winners, though not necessarily average earnings.
Is it possible, simply by asking a few members of a community, to identify individuals who are best placed to diffuse information? A model of diffusion shows how members of a community can, just by tracking gossip about others, identify those who are most central in a network according to “diffusion centrality” – a network centrality measure that predicts the diffusion of a piece of information seeded with a network member.
We use detailed observational data constructed from daily passenger-level logbooks and weekly surveys to study the intertemporal labor supply decisions of Kenyan bicycle taxi drivers, while generating variation in cash on hand through randomized cash payouts. We document three key facts: (1) drivers work more in response to both unexpected and expected cash needs; (2) drivers discontinuously increase the probability of quitting once they have reached their day’s cash need; but (3) randomized cash payouts have no effect on labor supply.
The recent literature on the endogenous formation of preferences has emphasized that while some preferences are more conducive to growth than others, economic growth also contributes to the formation of particular tastes (Becker, 1996). In this paper, we construct a neoclassical growth model where intergenerational altruism is endogenous and entails costly sacrifices on the part of parents to acquire that trait.
This paper reviews the recent theoretical and empirical economic literature on migrants' remittances. It is divided between a microeconomic section on the determinants of remittances and a macroeconomic section on their growth effects. At the micro level we first present in a fully harmonized framework the various motivations to remit described so far in the literature.