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Author:Mazumder, Bhashkar 

Working Paper
Cognitive abilities and household financial decision making

We analyze the effects of cognitive abilities on two examples of consumer financial decisions where suboptimal behavior is well defined. The first example refers to consumers who transfer the entire balance from an existing credit card account to a new account, but use the new card for convenience transactions, resulting in higher interest charges. The second example refers to consumers who face higher APRs because they inaccurately estimate their property value on a home equity loan or line of credit application. We match individuals from the US military for whom we have detailed test scores ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2010-16

Working Paper
Intergenerational economic mobility in the U.S., 1940 to 2000

We use two sample instrumental variables to estimate intergenerational economic mobility from 1940 to 2000. We find intergenerational mobility increased from 1940 to 1980 but declined sharply thereafter, a pattern similar to cross-sectional inequality trends. However, the returns to education account for only some of these patterns. The time- series may help to reconcile previous findings in the intergenerational mobility literature. Our estimates imply a somewhat different pattern for the intergenerational income correlation, a measure insensitive to changes in cross-sectional inequality ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-05-12

Working Paper
Nonparametric analysis of intergenerational income mobility with application to the United States

This paper concerns the problem of inferring the effects of covariates on intergenerational income mobility, i.e. on the relationship between the incomes of parents and future earnings of their children. We focus on two different measures of mobility- (i) traditional transition probability of movement across income quantiles over generations and (ii) a new direct measure of upward mobility, viz. the probability that an adult child's relative position exceeds that of the parents. We estimate the effect of possibly continuously distributed covariates from data using nonparametric regression and ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-07-12

Working Paper
Fetal origins and parental responses

We review the literature on how parental investments respond to health endowments at birth. Recent studies have combined insights from an earlier theoretical literature on how households allocate resources within the family, with a growing empirical literature that identifies early life health shocks using sharp research designs. We describe the econometric challenges in identifying the behavioral responses of parents and how recent studies have sought to address these challenges. We also discuss the emerging literature that has considered how there may be dynamic complementarities in ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2012-14

Working Paper
Choosing the right parents: changes in the intergenerational transmission of inequality between 1980 and the early 1990s

This paper uses the National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS), the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), and the General Social Survey (GSS) to measure the elasticity of family income on men?s adult earnings in 1980 and the early 1990s. The study finds a large and statistically significant increase in the importance of family income over time when comparing cohorts in the NLS, a dataset that has not been previously used for this purpose. We also find a large but statistically insignificant increase when using the GSS. The PSID, however, shows a large but statistically insignificant decline in this ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-02-08

Working Paper
Social Interventions, Health and Wellbeing: The Long-Term and Intergenerational Effects of a School Construction Program

We analyze the long-run and intergenerational effects of a large-scale school building project (INPRES) that took place in Indonesia between 1974 and 1979. Specifically, we link the geographic rollout of INPRES to longitudinal data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey covering two generations. We find that individuals exposed to the program have better health later in life along multiple measures. We also find that the children of those exposed also experience improved health and educational outcomes and that these effects are generally stronger for maternal exposure than paternal exposure. ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2019-9

Working Paper
How did schooling laws improve long-term health and lower mortality?

Although it is well known that there is a strong association between education and health much less is known about how these factors are connected, and whether the relationship is causal. Lleras-Muney (2005) provides perhaps the strongest evidence that education has a causal effect on health. Using state compulsory school laws as instruments, Lleras-Muney finds large effects of education on mortality. We revisit these results, noting they are not robust to state time trends, even when the sample is vastly expanded and a coding error rectified. We employ a dataset containing a broad array of ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-06-23

Working Paper
Fertility transitions along the extensive and intensive margins

This paper examines the fertility transition through a new lens: the extensive margin. Parents with high levels of children might substitute quality for quantity as the constraints on quality relax or those on quantity tighten. However, along the extensive margin, the quantity-quality trade-off cannot operate. At low levels of fertility, we expect quality and quantity to be essential complements. We apply these insights to a large school construction program in the American South during the early 20th century, the Rosenwald Rural Schools Initiative. We find that increased schooling ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2011-09

Working Paper
Early Life Environment and Racial Inequality in Education and Earnings in the United States

Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2014-28

Working Paper
Birth cohort and the black-white achievement gap: the role of health soon after birth

A large literature documents the significant gap in average test scores between blacks and whites, while a related literature finds a substantial narrowing of the gap during the 1980?s, and a stagnation in convergence during the 1990?s. We use two data sources the Long Term Trends NAEP and AFQT scores for the universe of applicants to the U.S. military between 1976 and 1991 to show that most of the racial convergence in the 1980?s is explained by relative improvements across successive cohorts of blacks born between 1963 and the early 1970?s and not by a secular narrowing in the gap over ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-08-20

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