Investing in the Next Generation: The Long-Run Impacts of a Liquidity Shock
Erica M. Field,
Rohini Pande and
No 29816, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
How do poor entrepreneurs trade off investments in business enterprises versus children's human capital, and how do these choices influence intergenerational socio-economic mobility? To examine this, we exploit experimental variation in household income resulting from a one-time relaxation of household liquidity constraints (Field et al., 2013), and track schooling and business outcomes over the subsequent 11 years. On average, treatment households, who were made wealthier through the experiment, increase human capital investment such that their children are 35% more likely to attend college. However, schooling gains only accrue to children with literate parents, among whom college attendance nearly doubles. In contrast, treatment effects on investment among the illiterate accrue only on the business margin and are accompanied by adverse educational outcomes for children. As a result, treatment lowers relative educational mobility. In a forecasting exercise, we find that earnings gains for literate households are four times larger than the earnings gains for illiterate households, raising earnings inequality. Our findings highlight how parental investment choices can contribute to a growth in intergenerational earnings inequality despite reductions in urban poverty.
JEL-codes: G32 I24 I25 I26 I32 L26 O1 O15 O16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ent, nep-exp, nep-fdg and nep-lab
Note: CH DEV ED PR
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:29816
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
The price is Paper copy available by mail.
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().