Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More on Gender

I’m taking a break from editing a paper I have been working on. In the paper I was testing the relationship between the relative power of a husband and wife on their children’s school attendance and their spending on food for Nicaraguan households. In this case I measure power as the ratio of the wife’s education to her husbands. Most of the economic literature has suggested that as a wife’s power increases her children go to more school and the family spends more on food, since mothers tend to like to spend on those things. When I submitted the paper a reviewer suggested that perhaps when women are extremely more powerful than their husbands, then perhaps increasing their power further does not still increase schooling or food spending and in fact may actually lower these outcomes. When I reexamined the data looking for this relationship, I did find that once women have 4 times the education of their husbands, additional female education actually decreases schooling. Tomorrow I’ll give some more thought as to why this could be.

My buddy Scott, also raises a question about yesterday’s Gold Digging article. If you thought your income as a man would negatively effect your chance with the ladies then you should not report your income. In that case everyone who did not report their income would have low income so everyone should report their income (unless it is zero). However, perhaps not reporting your income is a signaling device in that by not reporting your income you only attract people who do not care about income. So do not report a high income if you make a lot of money, but do not want a woman looking for a rich guy. In this case only rich men ugly men who want the pretty women who wanted to date richer men, should report their income.

Also thanks to Baysian Heresey for the link.

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