Daniel R. LaFave

Colby College
5243 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901

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

NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2020Farm Profits, Prices and Household Behavior
with Evan D. Peet, Duncan Thomas: w26636
The farm household model, in which decisions about production and consumption are made simultaneously, lies at the heart of many models of development. Empirically modelling these simultaneous choices is not straightforward. The vast majority of empirical studies assume that farm households behave as if markets are complete in which case decision-making simplifies to a recursive system where consumption choices can be treated as if they are made after all production decisions. Previous empirical tests of this assumption have relied on restrictions on production decisions. We develop a new approach to testing based on household consumption choices and implement the procedure using data from rural Indonesia. Relative to production-side tests, the consumption-based test is well-suited to iden...
May 2016Height and Cognition at Work: Labor Market Productivity in a Low Income Setting
with Duncan Thomas: w22290
Taller workers earn more, particularly in lower income settings. It has been argued that adult height is a marker of strength which is rewarded in the labor market, a proxy for cognitive performance or other dimensions of human capital such as school quality, a proxy for health status or a proxy for family background characteristics. As a result, the argument goes, height is rewarded in the labor market because it is an informative signal of worker quality to an employer. It has also been argued that the height premium in the labor market is driven by occupational and sectoral choice. This paper evaluates the relative importance of these mechanisms that potentially underly the link between adult stature and labor market productivity. Drawing on twelve waves of longitudinal survey data coll...

Published: Daniel LaFave & Duncan Thomas, 2017. "Height and cognition at work: Labor market productivity in a low income setting," Economics & Human Biology, vol 25, pages 52-64. citation courtesy of

November 2014Farms, Families, and Markets: New Evidence on Completeness of Markets in Agricultural Settings
with Duncan Thomas: w20699
The farm household model has played a central role in improving the understanding of small-scale agricultural households and non-farm enterprises. Under the assumptions that all current and future markets exist and that farmers treat all prices as given, the model simplifies households’ simultaneous production and consumption decisions into a recursive form in which production can be treated as independent of preferences of household members. These assumptions, which are the foundation of a large literature in labor and development, have been tested and not rejected in several important studies, including, for example, Benjamin (1992). Using multiple waves of longitudinal survey data from Central Java, Indonesia, this paper tests a key prediction of the recursive model: demand for farm lab...

Published: Daniel LaFave & Duncan Thomas, 2016. "Farms, Families, and Markets: New Evidence on Completeness of Markets in Agricultural Settings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 1917-1960, 09. citation courtesy of

Extended Families and Child Well-being
with Duncan Thomas: w20702
Whereas studies have established the intra-household distribution of resources affects allocation decisions, little is known about how these decisions are affected by the distribution of resources among co-resident and non co-resident extended family members. Drawing on theoretical models of collective decision-making, we use extremely rich data from Indonesia to establish that child health- and education-related human capital outcomes are affected by resources of extended family members who co-reside with the child and those who are not co-resident. Extended family members are not completely altruistic but their allocation decisions are apparently co-ordinated in a way that is consistent with Pareto efficiency.

Published: "Extended families and child development" Journal of Development Economics, 126:52-65, 2017 citation courtesy of

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