Paloma CARRILLO 's PhD Thesis, May 10th, 2023

May 10, 2023 Research

  Paloma Carrillo will defend her thesis on Wednesday 10 May at 14:00 (Auditorium 3)
« Essays in Development Economics: Intra-household Decision-Making and Public Management »
Supervisors: Professor Stéphane Straub and Matteo Bobba

To attend the conference, please contact the secretariat Christelle Fotso Tatchum

Memberships are:

Abstract :

One of the main objectives of development economics is to produce findings that easily translate into policy recommendations. My thesis explores two topics that can influence policies aimed at empowering women and improving the functioning of public institutions in Latin America. In the first two chapters, I investigate the impact of gender norms and exposure to violence on women's decision-making power within households in Mexico. In the third chapter, I examine how reducing information frictions can enhance the use of public administrative data to improve the management and services of courts in Chile.

In the first chapter, I investigate why working mothers in Mexico dedicate an average of eighteen hours more to weekly paid and unpaid work than fathers. Particularly, I examine the role gender norms play in determining this work time disparity. To do so, I extend a collective labor supply model with household production to include gender norms and estimate it using Mexican survey data from 2002, 2005, and 2009. The model predictions can replicate the changes in total work time disparity over time. I find that more egalitarian gender norms reduce the total work time disparity between spouses and that their impact is comparable with that of wages. For example, a 16 percentage-point increase in a gender norm index between 2002 and 2005 caused a 2.6-hour decrease in total work time disparity mainly through an increase in women's bargaining power. To achieve the same 2.6-hour reduction, women's wages would need to increase by 11% over 2005 levels.

In the second chapter, using longitudinal data on household decision-making in Mexico, I explore the impact of a violence environment, measured by homicides, on spouses' decisions and their bargaining power. I find that an increase in the homicide rate decreases the number of decisions taken by women and men, thus reducing the number of decisions taken jointly. For example, the average increase of 9.3 homicides in the twelve-month homicide rate during the War on Drugs caused couples to decrease the number of joint decisions by 6% from its baseline. The changes in joint decisions represent a reversal into more historical gender spheres of decisions, with men lowering their participation in decisions about children's education and clothing while women reducing their decisions on male private consumption goods and large expenditures. Suggesting that although the reduction in number of decisions was similar for both women and men, community violence might dis-empower women in the household.