NBER Working Papers by Garance Genicot

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Working Papers

October 2015Asymmetry of Information within Family Networks
with Joachim De Weerdt, Alice Mesnard: w21685
This paper studies asymmetry of information and transfers within a unique data set of 712 extended family networks from Tanzania. Using cross-reports on asset holdings, we construct measures of misperception of income among all pairs of households belonging to the same network. We show that there is significant asymmetry of information and no evidence of major systematic over-evaluation or under-evaluation of income in our data, although there is a slight over-evaluation on the part of migrants regarding non-migrants. We develop a static model of asymmetric information that contrasts altruism, pressure and exchange as motives to transfer. The model makes predictions about the correlations between misperceptions and transfers under these competing explanations. Testing these predictions in ...
June 2015Two-sided Altruism and Signaling
This paper shows that when donors and recipients care about each other --two-sided altruism -- the presence of asymmetry of information about the donor's income leads very naturally to a signaling game. A donor who cares about the recipient's welfare has incentives to appear richer than he is when the recipient cares about him. Similarly, asymmetry of information regarding the donor's income generates a signaling game in the presence of two-sided altruism. These signaling games put upward pressure on transfers and this pressure increases with the altruism of the recipient.

Published: Garance Genicot, 2016. "Two-sided altruism and signaling," Economics Letters, vol 145, pages 92-97.

March 2014Aspirations and Inequality
with Debraj Ray: w19976
This paper develops a theory of socially determined aspirations, and the interaction of those aspirations with growth and inequality. The interaction is bidirectional: economy-wide outcomes determine individual aspirations, which in turn determine investment incentives and social outcomes. Thus aspirations, income and the distribution of income evolve jointly. When capital stocks lie in some compact set, steady states distributions must exhibit inequality and are typically clustered around local poles. When sustained growth is possible, initial histories matter. Either there is convergence to an equal distribution (with growth) or there is perennial relative divergence across clusters, with within-cluster convergence. A central feature that drives these results is that aspirations that are...

forthcoming in Econometrica

Suicide and Property Rights in India
with Siwan Anderson: w19978
This paper studies the impact of female property rights on male and female suicide rates in India. Using state level variation in legal changes to women's property rights, we show that better property rights for women are associated with a decrease in the difference between female and male suicide rates, but an increase in both male and female suicides. We conjecture that increasing female property rights increased conflict within household and this increased conflict resulted in more suicides among both men and women in India. Using individual level data on domestic violence we find evidence that increased property rights for women did increase the incidence of wife beating in India. A model of intra-household bargaining with asymmetric information and costly conflict is consistent with t...

Published: Anderson, Siwan & Genicot, Garance, 2015. "Suicide and property rights in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 64-78. citation courtesy of

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers onlyInformation about this author at RePEc

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