Hidden in Plain Sight: Asymmetric Information and Hidden Income within the Household (job market paper) [working paper]
Conference Presentations: WB/GU Poverty Conference, Fourth SANEM-World Bank North America Discussion Forum, CES North America Conference 2023, AMIE 2nd Workshop in Applied Microeconomics 2022, ADE 2022, YES 2022, 14th Joint IOS/APB/EACES Summer Academy, ICDE 2022, NOVAFRICA 2022, NCDE 2022, SEHO 2022, DEVPEC 2022, PACDEV 2022, ACLEC Poster Session 2021
Do household members hide employment income from one another? Consistent with income hiding within the household, I find that respondents in Kenya and Indonesia underestimate labor income of other household members, and underreport own income when other household members are present. Households with measured hiding consume more private goods and transfer more to extended families. I develop and test a household model where each member can strategically underreport income, increasing private consumption at the expense of household efficiency. In equilibrium, cooperation is endogenous and incomplete, as household members collectively allocate reported income, but total income is not allocated efficiently.
Welfare or Work: Which is Better for Women Empowerment? Evidence from Mexico [working paper available upon request]
Do providing women with conditional cash transfers increase their Pareto weight within the household as much as if they entered employment? Using data between 1997 to 2007 from Mexico's Progresa program (also known as Oportunidades/Prospera), I find that both receiving Progresa transfers and female employment leads to household expenditure reallocation from men's clothing to girls’ and women's clothing. This provides evidence against the household unitary model. Meanwhile, Progresa leads to an increase in boys’ clothing expenditures while female employment leads to a decrease in boys’ clothing expenditures. This suggests that Progresa reallocates household resources from adults to children, while female employment reallocates resources from male family members to female ones.