This article considers associations among childhood family structure, childhood religious service attendance, and the probability of having a nonmarital first birth before age 30 for non-Hispanic White women born 1944 to 1964 using data from the 1988 and 1995 waves of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) (N = 5995). We found that attending religious services weekly during childhood and growing up in a two-biological parent family were associated with lower odds of having had a nonmarital first birth. These associations were quite stable across cohorts, although religious attendance was less associated with nonmarital fertility for the youngest cohort. We estimate that changes in these childhood experiences account for 22% of the increase in nonmarital first births across these cohorts.
A behavioral competitive equilibrium restricts households ability to tailor their consumption to the state of the economy. Compared to standard competitive equilibrium, a behavioral competitive equilibrium yields more consumption risk and extreme price volatility when the realized output is near its maximum or minimum.
Belief disagreements have been suggested as a major contributing factor to the recent financial crisis. This paper theoretically evaluates this hypothesis. I assume that optimists have limited wealth and take on leverage in order to take positions in line with their beliefs. To have a significant effect on asset prices, they need to borrow from traders with pessimistic beliefs using loans collateralized by the asset itself. Since pessimists do not value the collateral as much as optimists do, they are reluctant to lend, which provides an endogenous constraint on optimists’ ability to borrow and to influence asset prices. I demonstrate that the tightness of this constraint depends on the nature of belief disagreements. Optimism concerning the probability of downside states has no or little effect on asset prices because these types of optimism are disciplined by this constraint. Instead, optimism concerning the relative probability of upside states could have significant effects on asset prices. This asymmetric disciplining effect is robust to allowing for short selling because pessimists that borrow the asset face a similar endogenous constraint. These results emphasize that what investors disagree about matters for asset prices, to a greater extent than the level of disagreements. When richer contracts are available, insurance contracts (similar to credit default swaps) endogenously emerge to facilitate betting. Richer contracts moderate the effect of belief disagreements on asset prices
because the medium of betting shifts from buying (or shorting) the asset to trading alternative
Since the 1980s, governments in developing countries have been adopting laws and regulations intended to foster more attractive investment climates for foreign firms. Such adoptions have stirred a form of competition among LDC governments to create environments more conducive to foreign businesses. In fact, some economists have argued that governments may have gone too far in that MNEs could even receive better treatment than their domestic counterparts. In this paper, we examine this claim by focusing on a particular policy incentive for FDI– the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). BITs are agreements between two governments that protect foreign investments in the partner country. We assess the effects of BITs on the value of comparable foreign and domestic investments. Our paper employs a more robust causal inference methodology than previous studies and overcomes empirical difficulties of small sample size and a small number of clusters of earlier work on the topic. We employ a large dataset on real investment in the international petroleum industry.
Well-financed opposition parties can undercut the territorial advantages of clientelistic machines. In the 2000s, the leftist Workers’ Party (PT) upended the conservative political establishment in Brazil’s populous Northeast region (NE). In contrast to arguments attributing the PT’s electoral progress in the NE to civil society, economic growth, and conditional cash transfers, we argue that the territorial expansion of the PT organization played a central role. A spike in party finances during the early 2000s enabled the PT, for the first time, to establish party offices in Northeastern municipalities from the top down. We draw from underutilized data to show that the PT strategically targeted conservative-dominated municipalities in the NE. This top-down territorial targeting produced considerable gains for party candidates across federal and state races.
Does party organization still matter? Much of the party literature suggests that politicians, who can use substitutes like mass media to win votes, lack incentives to invest in party organization. Yet party organization remains an electoral asset, especially at lower levels of government. Evidence from Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT) indicates that party elites invest in organization when they prioritize lower-level elections, and that this investment delivers electoral returns. In the mid-2000s, the PT strengthened its support across levels of government in the conservative, clientelistic Northeast. Drawing from underutilized data on party offices, this article shows that organizational expansion contributed substantially to the PT's electoral advances in the Northeast. While President Lula da Silva’s (PT) 2006 electoral spike in the Northeast resulted from expanded conditional cash transfers, the PT’s improvement at lower levels followed from top-down organization-building. The PT national leadership deliberately expanded the party’s local infrastructure to deliver electoral gains.