Abstract: This paper investigates how enhancing women’s property rights can improve the welfare of both spouses. It examines the effects of a change in marriage law that protects wives’ property rights in the event of a divorce. The study focuses on a unique marriage institution prevalent in China where the bride’s family sets a bride price and provides a dowry to the new couple. The model takes into account patrilocal residence and parental altruism towards their children. The couple divides their income and the dowry, with the dowry playing a crucial role in determining the allocation of resources. The study derives equilibrium prices for marriage payments. It shows that increasing the wife’s property rights leads to a Pareto improvement if the bride price increases. Using a regression discontinuity design, I show that the law encourages larger dowries and bride prices and thus financially benefits both the husband and wife.
Abstract:Hukou, China’s household registration system, affects access to public services and signals the strength of a person’s local social network, guanxi. We use a collective model and data on household consumption and spouses’ hukou status to show that hukou plays a crucial role in determining within-family bargaining power. Wives who bring the family more lucrative hukou enjoy significantly higher bargaining power than other wives. Still, these wives have less bargaining power than their husbands. Large differences in preferences between husbands and wives, especially regarding alcohol, tobacco, and clothing, allow us to identify these disparities.
Work in Progress
Degenderization and Collective Labor Supply in Same-sex Couples
Abstract: I propose a revised version of the conventional Chiappori-style collective model to investigate the impact of degenderization on labor allocation within same-sex couples. This study aims to address the limitations of Becker and Gronau’s theory of time allocation, which fails to fully account for the labor supply behaviors observed among same-sex couples based solely on comparative advantages. To address this gap, I introduce a gender-neutralized collective model that incorporates the shift in individual preferences away from traditional gender norms. Within this framework, men exhibit reduced aversion to household tasks, while women experience de- creased aversion to paid work. As a result, a gay man is likely to allocate less labor to market work and more to home production, whereas a lesbian woman is expected to allocate more labor to market work and less to home production. Moreover, same-sex couples are more inclined to exhibit a balanced distribution of labor between paid work and housework. The empirical evidence obtained from the American Time Use Survey provides support for the theoretical framework proposed in this study.
Predoctoral Publications (Corporate Finance)
"Firm Dynamics of Hi-Tech Start-ups: Does Innovation Matter?,” China Economic Review (2020): 101370 (with Richard B. Freeman and Dongyang Zhang)[Link]
“Regulation and innovation: Examining outcomes in Chinese pollution control policy areas,” Economic Modelling (2020): 89: 19-31 (with Richard B. Freeman and Matthew T. Higgins)[Link]