P11: Family, labor, and education
(Changing role of the family, family planning, labor supply and education)

PIs: Puhani (leading), Vollmer, Strulik

Economic activities of the family in developing countries must be seen in the context of an almost complete lack of many of the institutions that are taken for granted in developed countries: In general, the majority of households in developing countries do not have access to institutional child care, care for the elderly, old age pension systems, and unemployment insurance. At the same time, the families' income sources in developing countries are uncertain, given the volatility of returns to agricultural production, the unsteadiness of employment opportunities in the informal sector as well as the high incidence of health and mortality shocks. On the downside, uncertainty has increased due to stronger specialization of production in the context of globalization. On the upside, the greater degree of economic openness and the diffusion of in-formation and communication technology associated with globalization have increased the demand for education even in developing countries, which is a potentially positive aspect of specialization if the respective opportunities are made use of. Many of these interrelated choices have not been systematically explored.

The availability of new panel databases from developing countries allow to investigate the driving forces of different skill migration groups to different destination countries, the labor supply responses of the left-behind members in the migrant households as well as the effects of migration on children education in migrant countries.

Possible dissertation topics:

  • What is the effect of rural-urban migration on private/public institutions that provide personal care for children and the elderly?
  • Does the increasing sex-ratio as a result of sex selection affect the intra-household allocation of housework, investment in sons, and fertility decisions?
  • How does rural-urban migration affect the gender role in the household for both households that moved and those who were left behind?