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On November 1, BFI hosted Alessandra Voena, Professor in Economics and the College, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, and Co-Director of BFI’s Initiative for the Study of Gender in the Economy, for a Friedman Forum lecture on gender and human capital investments in developing countries. The Friedman Forum series offers students an opportunity for informal discussions with prominent economists.

Although it is well known that traditional cultural practices can play an important role in development, we still have little understanding of what this means for development policy. To improve our understanding of this issue, Prof. Voena’s research examines how the effects of school construction on girls’ education vary with a widely-practiced marriage custom called bride price, which is a payment made by the husband and/or his family to the wife’s parents at marriage.

Read the full abstract and the forthcoming working paper related to the discussion here.