Sonia Oreffice, 29 April 2011

How much more do you have to earn to compensate for a higher bodyweight and still find a desirable marriage partner? Sonia Oreffice of the University of Alicante talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about her research on physical and socio-economic characteristics, marriage markets and the potential impact on family outcomes. The interview was recorded at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference at Royal Holloway, University of London, in April 2011. [Also read the transcript.]

Venkataraman Bhaskar, 24 June 2008

The author of CEPR DP6876 considers a society where parents prefer boys, but also value grandchildren. He finds that parental choice results in a socially inefficient situation – it is estimated, for example, that 40-50 million Chinese men could be without brides.

Jane Humphries, 24 April 2008

Child labour remains a pervasive problem across the globe. This column discusses the nature of child labourers’ jobs, earnings, motivations, and well-being during the British Industrial Revolution. Their historical experience offers lessons for today’s policymakers.

Alberto Alesina, Andrea Ichino, Loukas Karabarbounis, 09 January 2008

Women have a more elastic labor supply than men and participate less in the market because of intra-family bargaining. Their labor income should be taxed less to achieve optimal taxation and to change the allocation of family chores in a way that allows females to work more in the market if they want. This tax approach may be fiscally cheaper, less distortionary and would directly address the source of labor market gender differences: intra-family bargaining.

Alberto Alesina, Andrea Ichino, Loukas Karabarbounis, 10 December 2007

According to taxation theory, a government should tax goods and services which have a more elastic supply less. As women’s labour supply is more elastic than men’s, tax rates on labour income should be lower for women than for men. The authors of CEPR DP6591 analyse the effects of gender based taxation and find that it provides substantial welfare and GDP gains because it minimizes the overall social loss from labour market distortions.

Pedro Carneiro, Costas Meghir, Matthias Parey, 22 November 2007

New research shows that raising the level of mothers’ education pays large intergenerational returns with kids benefiting, for example, from extra parental investment in their education. Policies that promote women’s education should take account of this in their design and evaluation.

Pedro Carneiro, Costas Meghir, Matthias Parey, 08 October 2007

In the last 50 years, there has been a striking increase in inequality in children’s home environments across families where mothers have different levels of education. Given that the tendency is rooted in the experience of each family, it is difficult for the welfare system to import change and direct interventions require the invasion of family autonomy and privacy. The authors of CEPR DP6505 assess an alternative potential policy, which targets future parents while still in their youth by affecting their education before they start forming a family.

Tommaso Monacelli, 31 August 2007

The public is overreacting to the current turmoil in financial markets. The turmoil is most likely a situation where very specific problems are spread out extensively across investors and countries and thus the defaults are benign.

Eric Edmonds, Nina Pavcnik, 19 July 2007

Why are children working? Eliminating trade-linked jobs does not change the circumstances that cause children to work. Empirically, children are less likely to work in countries with more international trade.

Alberto Alesina, Paola Giuliano, 17 June 2007

Empirically, family structures affect economic choices such as labour market participation. This fact and the wide variety of family structures within the EU bring into question policies that seek to impose uniformity of social policies.

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