NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Natalie Bau

Department of Economics
University of California at Los Angeles
Bunche Hall 8283
315 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095

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NBER Program Affiliations: CH , DEV , ED
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: University of California at Los Angeles

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2020Affirmative Action and Pre-College Human Capital
with Mitra Akhtari, Jean-William P. Laliberté: w27779
Racial affirmative action policies are widespread in college admissions. Yet, evidence on their effects before college is limited. Using four data sets, we study a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that reinstated affirmative action in three states. Using nationwide SAT data for difference-in-differences and synthetic control analyses, we separately identify the aggregate effects of affirmative action for whites and for underrepresented minorities. Using state-wide Texas administrative data, we measure the effect of affirmative action on racial gaps across the pre-treatment test score distribution. When affirmative action is re-instated, racial gaps in SAT scores, grades, attendance, and college applications fall. Average SAT scores for both whites and minorities increase, suggesting that reducti...
May 2020Human Capital Investment in the Presence of Child Labor
with Martin Rotemberg, Manisha Shah, Bryce Steinberg: w27241
Policies that improve early life human capital are a promising tool to alter disadvantaged children's lifelong trajectories. Yet, in many low-income countries, children and their parents face tradeoffs between schooling and productive work. If there are positive returns to human capital in child labor, then children who receive greater early life investments may attend less school. Exploiting early life rainfall shocks in India as a source of exogenous variation in early life investment, we show that increased early life investment reduces schooling in districts with high child labor, especially for girls and lower castes. These effects persist and are intergenerational, affecting fertility, per capita household consumption, and other measures of household poverty, and lead to a divergence...
July 2016Bride Price and Female Education
with Nava Ashraf, Nathan Nunn, Alessandra Voena: w22417
Although it is well known that traditional cultural practices can play an important role in development, we still have little understanding of what this means for development policy. To improve our understanding of this issue, we examine how the effects of school construction on girls’ education vary with a widely-practiced marriage custom called bride price, which is a payment made by the husband and/or his family to the wife’s parents at marriage. We begin by developing a model of educational choice with and without bride price. The model generates a number of predictions that we test in two countries that have had large-scale school construction projects, Indonesia and Zambia. Consistent with the model, we find that for groups that practice the custom of bride price, the value of bride ...

Published: Nava Ashraf & Natalie Bau & Nathan Nunn & Alessandra Voena, 2020. "Bride Price and Female Education," Journal of Political Economy, vol 128(2), pages 591-641.

 
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