NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Martin Rotemberg

New York University
19 W4th St, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10012

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: New York University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2020Human Capital Investment in the Presence of Child Labor
with Natalie Bau, Manisha Shah, Bryce Steinberg: w27241
Policies that improve early life human capital are a promising tool to alter disadvantaged children's lifelong trajectories. Yet, in many low-income countries, children and their parents face tradeoffs between schooling and productive work. If there are positive returns to human capital in child labor, then children who receive greater early life investments may attend less school. Exploiting early life rainfall shocks in India as a source of exogenous variation in early life investment, we show that increased early life investment reduces schooling in districts with high child labor, especially for girls and lower castes. These effects persist and are intergenerational, affecting fertility, per capita household consumption, and other measures of household poverty, and lead to a divergence...
December 2019Railroads, Reallocation, and the Rise of American Manufacturing
with Richard Hornbeck: w26594
We examine impacts of market integration on the development of American manufacturing, as railroads expanded through the latter half of the 19th century. Using new county-by-industry data from the Census of Manufactures, we estimate substantial impacts on manufacturing productivity from relative increases in county market access as railroads expanded. In particular, the railroads increased economic activity in marginally productive counties. Allowing for the presence of factor misallocation generates much larger aggregate economic gains from the railroads than previous estimates. Our estimates highlight how broadly-used infrastructure or technologies can have much larger economic impacts when there are inefficiencies in the economy.
 
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