Working Papers

Abstract: International migration can disrupt families and affect the human capital investment of left-behind children. Using data from the Mexican Family Life Survey, I document that mothers with husbands in the United States invest less time and resources in the education of their children than those with husbands in Mexico. I develop a heterogeneous household model with endogenous migration and intergenerational linkages through investments in children's education. The model incorporates important features of the data. In particular, I allow for three features: the low returns of a Mexican education in the U.S. labor market, selection in the migration decision, and potential complementarity between fathers and mothers in the human capital formation of their children. I find that the differential returns of a Mexican education between the U.S. and Mexican labor markets is crucial to explain the educational investment disparities.

Abstract: A large body of research has established the importance of international remittances as an insurance mechanism against income shocks in developing countries. However, households have additional self-insurance mechanisms, including precautionary savings, labor adjustments, and multiple earners. This paper develops a model with heterogeneous households and endogenous international remittances to study the relationship between remittances and other self-insurance mechanisms. I calibrate the model with data from the Dominican Republic and use it to decompose the relative importance of the self-insurance mechanisms used by non-migrant households and households with overseas workers. I find that the response of household behavior (remittances, labor supply, and savings) differs greatly depending on whether the household is a migrant or not and on whether the shock hits the overseas worker (usually male) or the left-behind family member (usually female).


Work in Progress

  • Fiscal Shocks and the Time Use Within the Family with Christopher Biolsi, German Cubas, and Pedro Silos.