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Seminar, Lecture, Talk Roundtable meeting on Empowerment and Wellness of Migrant Domestic Workers: Explorations for Cross-sector Collaborations between Field & Academic Experts Migrant domestic workers (MDWs) contribute to Hong Kong society through their care work, and by enabling labour force participation, mainly of Hong Kong women. Many implicitly assume this is “win-win” and that MDWs’ wages translate into short- and longer-term socio-economic gain for them and their families. However, researchers, NGOs, and practitioners have highlighted the challenges that prevent this happy outcome, and many have made migrant workers’ empowerment and wellness the key pillars of their research, programming, advocacy and policy-making.
- 2:00pm - 5:30pm
Publications Why Micro-Credit May Leave Women Worse Off: Non-Cooperative Bargaining and the Marriage Game in South Asia Micro-credit programmes targeting women continue to grow in South Asia, although research suggests that wives frequently hand over loans to their husbands. Women may also be unable to control the income generated by micro-enterprises. This article presents an intra-household bargaining model explaining these findings and showing how credit may leave women worse off, while benefiting men. This game-theoretic model also shows why a woman might rationally choose to give her loan to her husband even though she does not expect to benefit and knows he may not repay. By Sujata Balasubramanian
Publications Is the PDS Already a Cash Transfer? Rethinking India’s Food Subsidy Policies Critics argue that India’s mismanaged Public Distribution System (PDS), which sells subsidised cereals to poor families, should be replaced by cash transfers. Others fear cash may be misused. Using National Sample Survey data, this article demonstrates that families treat additional PDS subsidies wholly as a source of cash – exactly like a cash transfer. More worryingly, cereal consumption has not increased, despite higher real subsidies. Moreover, neither the PDS nor cash transfers are likely to raise total food expenditure in poor families. By Sujata Balasubramanian
Research Affiliate Sujata Balasubramanian Adjunct Assistant Professor, Division of Social Science Sujata Balasubramanian is a development economist who works on public policy issues related to South Asia, and especially India. She has a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Public Policy from the University of Southern California.
Publications Expanding Footprints: The Impact of Passenger Transportation on Corporate Locations This article investigates how transportation networks shape firms' geographic footprint by reducing monitoring costs of distant investments. Exploiting the staggered expansions of China's passenger high-speed rail (HSR) network, the authors document that the amount of intercity investment between a pair of cities increases by 45% with the introduction of an HSR line connecting the cities. They enhance the causal inference by applying high-dimensional fixed effects, and focusing on city pairs that are "accidentally" connected in the network. By Yatang Lin, Yu Qin, Johan Sulaeman, Jubo Yan, Jialiang Zhang
Publications When student incentives do not work: Evidence from a field experiment in Malawi James Berry, Hyuncheol Bryant Kim and Hyuk Harry Son study how the structure of tournament incentive schemes in education can influence the level and distribution of student outcomes. Through a field experiment among upper-primary students in Malawi, they evaluate two scholarship programs: a Population-based scholarship that rewarded overall top performers on an exam and a Bin-based scholarship that rewarded the top performers within smaller groups of students with similar baseline scores. By Hyuncheol Bryant Kim, James Berry, Hyuk Harry Son
Publications Agglomeration, Misallocation, and (the Lack of) Competition Industrial agglomeration policies may limit competition. This study develops, validates, and applies a novel approach for measuring competition based on the comovement of markups and market shares among firms in the same location and industry. Then this study develops a model of how this reduction in competition affects aggregate income. In this paper, the authors apply their approach to the well-known special economic zones (SEZs) of China. This paper estimates that firms in SEZs exhibit cooperative pricing almost three times as intensively as firms outside SEZs. By Yao Amber Li, Wyatt J. Brooks, Joseph P. Kaboski
Postdoctoral Fellow Kristina Butaeva (On leave) Postdoctoral Fellow Kristina Butaeva is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Economics, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). She got her Candidate of Science degree in Economics from the Lomonosov Moscow State University before getting her PhD in Social Science from HKUST in 2021.