David Lam

Department of Economics
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Tel: 734/763-3009

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: DEV
NBER Affiliation: Research Associate
Institutional Affiliation: University of Michigan

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2018Is There a Male Breadwinner Norm? The Hazards of Inferring Preferences from Marriage Market Outcomes
with Ariel J. Binder: w24907
Building on standard marital matching models, we show that a variety of underlying social preferences about a given trait all generate positive assortative matching on that trait, and hence the same distribution of spousal trait differences in equilibrium. Applying this result to U.S. Census and administrative earnings data, we find that simple models of assortative matching can very closely replicate the observed distribution of spousal earnings differences, in which very few wives out-earn their husbands. We conclude that the distribution of spousal earnings differences in the U.S. provides little information about the existence and implications of a male breadwinner norm.
November 2013Credit Constraints and the Racial Gap in Post-Secondary Education in South Africa
with Cally Ardington, Nicola Branson, Murray Leibbrandt: w19607
This paper analyzes the impact of high school household income and scholastic ability on post-secondary enrollment in South Africa. Using longitudinal data from the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS), we analyze the large racial gaps in the proportion of high school graduates who enroll in university and other forms of post-secondary education. Our results indicate that family background and high school achievement (measured by a literacy and numeracy exam and performance on the grade 12 matriculation exam) are strong predictors of post-secondary enrollment and statistically account for all of the black-white difference in enrollment. Controlling for parental education and baseline scholastic ability reduces the estimated impact of household income on university enrollment, though there continue...

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