Look for the next GCER Newsletter in June. Past Newsletters can be found here.

News Archive - Page 15

  • Winter/Spring, 2013. Featured Research Profile.

    Unintended Consequences in the Struggle for Equal Rights: Anderson and Genicot explore the surprising relationship between suicides and female property rights in India.

    A woman's right to inherit property is restricted in many developing countries. These restrictions, and the ensuing battles for equal rights, have been a source of great conflict in many traditional societies.

    To understand how these conflicts play out, GCER Fellow and Georgetown Professor Garance Genicot explores the little known but significant link between suicides and female property rights in India. In a recent paper entitled "Suicides and Property Rights in India". Professor Genicot and co-author Siwan Anderson of the University of British Columbia document this link and provide a compelling explanation for its cause.

    India presents a fascinating case study because, while the original Hindu Succession Act of 1956 mandates equal treatment in inheritance rights between sons and daughters, the Act contained two major loopholes. Both joint property and tenancy land were originally excluded.

    Anderson and Genicot exploit the fact that from 1956 until a nationwide amendment in 2005, different states in India independently chose to strengthen women's inheritance rights at different dates. Using these differences across states and time, they find that strengthened property rights for women decreased the ratio of female to male suicide rates, but increased the absolute numbers of both male and female suicides.

    Since a large majority of suicide victims in India are married, and since "family problems" constitutes the main reported cause of suicides for both men and women, a natural conjecture is that marital discord is the main channel through which improving female property rights raises suicides. Consistent with this hypothesis, Anderson and Genicot show that improving property rights for women increases the proportion of suicides due to household conflict, and, using individual level data, they show that it increases the prevalence of domestic violence.

    The authors root their explanation in a theoretical model of household bargaining under asymmetric information. The model predicts separations (divorce) as well as suicides in a manner consistent with the empirical findings. It shows that, as the share of assets held by women increase, the ratio of female to male suicide rates decreases, and conflict can increase. Periods of conflict are costly and reverting to normalcy takes time, so that either party may choose the "ultimate exit" and commit suicide.

    The model shows that when women have nothing, they accept everything and therefore there is little conflict. Ironically, as women' share of assets increases, their outside options improve slightly. They will not accept everything anymore and intra-household conflict will rise. Male suicide would increase, while the effect on female suicide could go either way.

  • Second IZA-GCER Young Scholar Conference set for September 23-27, 2013.

    IZA and the Georgetown Center of Economic Research (GCER) of Georgetown University Economics Department are very pleased to announce the Second IZA@DC Young Scholar Program which will take place from September 23 -- 27, 2013 at Georgetown University in Washington DC. The program is a joint effort by GCER and the IZA to bring outstanding PhD students to Washington, DC.

    The program encourages interaction between talented PhD students and labor economists located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. On each of the five days of the program a leading labor economist will present his/her frontier research. Students will be given the opportunity to collectively meet with each of the speakers and to discuss their own research. In addition the students will formally present their own research. They will also visit IZA Research Fellows located in Washington, DC at their home institutions.

    The program is designed for advanced PhD students from outside the US working in the field of labor economics with an interest in joint research projects with local universities or public institutions in the DC area. The number of participants is limited to a maximum of 10 students.

    For a complete program of this year's conference, please see GCER-IZA Program .

    For more information about last year's conference, please see Program 2012 .

  • GU Econ PhD student Claire Brunel receives prestigious Jordan Award

    For the second straight year, The Economic Club of Washington presented its prestigious Vernon E. Jordan Jr Fellowship Award to a GU PhD student. This year's Jordan Fellowship recipient is Claire Brunel for her winning essay, "Green Innovation and Green Imports: Links between Regulation, Innovation and Trade." Ms Brunel follows last year's recipient, Mauricio Villamizar, another GU PhD student. As this year's Jordan Fellow, Ms Brunel will present her research results to The Economic Club of Washington in the Spring of 2014.

  • Annual Political Economy Seminar

    This year, political economy is at Georgetown University, Monday, April 29th, 2013 at 2:30pm - 5:30pm at Mortara Center for International Studies.

    There will be two speakers: Pravin Krishna, Johns Hopkins University, and Peter Rosendorff, New York University.

    please click here for more details

  • Joint Initiative gui²de launched by GU Econ, GPPI, and GCER.

    GPPI Professors Nada Eissa and James Habyarimana and Georgetown Economics Professor Billy Jack recently launched gui²de, the Georgetown University Initiative on Innovation, Development and Evaluation. gui²de assesses the effectiveness of interventions and policies aimed at empowering individuals in developing countries through field-based research. Read more about gui²de here.