The Economics of the Family is an active research area in economics, both amongst theorists and applied researchers. This course will introduce students to the core theoretical underpinnings of the literature, will help students to engage critically with the quantitative analysis in research papers, and will assist them in building the skills necessary to implement quantitative techniques.
After providing an overview of the literature and the main `stylised facts’ in the first week, we will cover the theory of static and dynamic models of the family, and of matching models that are used to analyze marriage and divorce patterns. We will then move on to a series of more applied topics, including fertility and contraceptive choices, gender discrimination in the labor market, and higher education choices.
Each week, one or more students will prepare short presentations in response to a set of discussion questions, with their arguments based on the readings for that week. A mid-term problem set will require students to analyze the data from a recent applied paper to answer some simple questions about the variation in key economic variables and the authors’ identification strategy.