Costly Posturing: Ceremonies and Early Child Development in China

47 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2017

See all articles by Xi Chen

Xi Chen

Department of Health Policy and Management; Yale University - Department of Economics; Yale University - Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies; IZA

Xiaobo Zhang

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Abstract

Participating in and presenting gifts at funerals, weddings, and other ceremonies held by friends and neighbors have been regarded as social norms in many parts of the world for thousands of years. However, due to the reciprocal nature of gift giving, it is more burdensome for the poor to take part in these social occasions than for the rich. Because the poor often lack the necessary resources, they are forced to cut back on basic consumption, such as food, in order to afford a gift to attend the social festivals. For pregnant women in poor families, such a reduction in nutrition intake as a result of gift-giving can have a lasting detrimental health impact on their children. Using a primary census-type panel household survey in rural China, this paper provides empirical evidence on the squeeze effect of gift giving.

Keywords: economic status, squeeze effects, food consumption, gift-giving, stunting, malnutrition

JEL Classification: D13, I14, I32, O15, Z13

Suggested Citation

Chen, Xi and Zhang, Xiaobo, Costly Posturing: Ceremonies and Early Child Development in China. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10662, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2949098

Xi Chen (Contact Author)

Department of Health Policy and Management ( email )

60 College St
New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

Yale University - Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies ( email )

77 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06520
United States

HOME PAGE: http://isps.yale.edu/team/xi-chen

IZA ( email )

Xiaobo Zhang

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

2033 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
United States
202-862-5677 (Phone)
202-467-4439 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
13
Abstract Views
213
PlumX Metrics