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Negotiating a Better Future: How Interpersonal Skills Facilitate Inter-Generational Investment

Nava Ashraf, Natalie Bau, Corinne Low and Kathleen McGinn

No 12939, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: Using a randomized control trial, we examine whether offering adolescent girls non-material resources - specifically, negotiation skills -can improve educational outcomes in a low-income country. In so doing, we provide the first evidence on the effects of an intervention that increased non-cognitive, interpersonal skills during adolescence. Long-run administrative data shows that negotiation training significantly improved educational outcomes over the next three years. The training had greater effects than two alternative treatments (offering girls a safe physical space with female mentors and offering girls information about the returns to education), suggesting that negotiation skills themselves drive the effect. Further evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment, which simulates parents' educational investment decisions, and a midline survey suggests that negotiation skills improved girls' outcomes by moving households' human capital investments closer to the efficient frontier. This is consistent with an incomplete contracting model, where negotiation allows daughters to strategically cooperate with parents.

Keywords: Gender; Human Capital; Intrahousehold Allocation; non-cognitive skills; strategic cooperation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 I24 J16 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta, nep-exp and nep-hea
Date: 2018-05
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