Calle Casado del Alisal 5,
Madrid 28014, Spain
| Sebastián Fanelli
| Nezih Guner (Advisor)
| Josep Pijoan-Mas
I am a PhD candidate in Economics at CEMFI in Madrid, Spain. I will join the School of Economics at Shandong University as an Assistant Professor in September 2023. During my PhD studies, I work under the supervision of Prof. Nezih Guner. Before my PhD studies, I obtained my bachelor and master degrees in Economics at Xi'an Jiaotong University in Xi'an, China.
My main research interests are macroeconomics, labor economics, and development economics.
You can find my CV here.
Missing Women: A Quantitative Analysis [pdf]
Presentation: Shandong University (2022), Northwest A&F University (2022), Jinan University (2022), Liaoning University (2023).
The sex ratio, males per female, is well above one in China, India, and other South and East Asian countries. Parents in these countries want more boys, exercise sex-selective abortions, and invest less in their daughters' education. Why do parents favor sons over daughters? What policies can be effective in normalizing the sex ratio? To answer these questions, I build an overlapping-generation model of fertility, sex selection, the quantity-quality trade-off, and marriage and estimate it for India. The quantitative analysis reveals that the main drivers of missing women are economic factors, i.e., old-age support by sons, dowry payment for daughters, and labor market discrimination against women. If the gender differences in these economic factors are removed, the sex ratio at birth (SRB) would reduce from 1.14 to 1.05. The fertility rate would drop from 3.1 to 2.4, and the share of women with secondary education would increase from 49% to 72%. The sons would also benefit from lower fertility, and the share of men with secondary education would rise from 65% to 79%. Once the economic factors become gender-neutral, eliminating intrinsic son preferences has a small additional effect. A subsidy for female births or female education, commonly-implemented policies in India and elsewhere, can both reduce the SRB. However, the former increases fertility and reduces children's education and women's labor supply, while the latter has the opposite effects. Finally, a pay-as-you-go pension system can lower the SRB to 1.09, but it also reduces children's educational attainment, as parents value them now less.
China's Demographic Transition: A Quantitative Analysis [pdf]
CEMFI working paper 2201 [pdf]
R&R at European Economic Review
Presentations: The 8th Toulouse Economics and Biology Workshop (2021), Family Macro Seminar Series (2021), the IV Workshop of the Spanish Macroeconomics Network (2021), the 2022 EEA-ESEM Congress.
China's fertility decline was very fast. But the drivers of this decline are not well understood. The common wisdom attributes it to the strict population control policies, particularly the One-Child Policy. Yet, fertility decline might also be due to the spectacular economic transformation and substantial mortality decline. To quantify the effects of different factors on China's demographic and economic transition, I develop a two-sector overlapping-generation model with workers' movement from rural to urban areas and endogenous fertility and education choices. Quantitative analysis shows that even without any population policy, the total fertility rate (TFR) would decline from 6.25 children around 1950 to 2.75 children around 2010. However, the population policies were crucial for TFR to fall below the replacement level and do so very quickly after the 1980s. By around 2010, the cumulative effect of population policies reduced fertility from 2.75 to 1.31 children. The baseline model is also extended to incorporate the hukou system, considering that different hukou types are linked to different child quotas under the One-Child Policy and government transfers. The extended model suggests that the impact of the hukou system on fertility decisions was relatively minor.
How Does Children's Sex Affect Parental Sex Preference: Preference Adaptation and Learning, with Quanbao Jiang and Qianqian Shang [pdf]
CEMFI working paper 2202 [pdf]
Presentation: The 2022 PAA Annual Meeting.
This study examines the effects of children's sex on women's sex preferences and investigates the underlying mechanisms. Women's sex preference is measured by the proportion of sons and daughters they would like to have. Based on data from a national representative sample of Peruvian women in the Demographic and Health Survey, we find that if the first child is a daughter, the ideal proportion of sons will be lower by 6.2 percentage points (pp), and the ideal proportion of daughters will be higher by 5.3 pp. Moreover, if the first two children are daughters, the ideal proportion of sons will be lower by 8.9 pp, and the ideal proportion of daughters will be higher by 6.2 pp. Further analysis shows that the effects of the sex of the first child are stronger for women with only one child than for women with multiple children and that the effects of having a daughter depend on her birth order, suggesting that both preference adaptation and learning play important roles in generating the effects of children's sex on parental sex preference.
Intergenerational Transmission of Fertility: Evidence from China's Population Control Policies [pdf]
CEMFI working paper 2211 [pdf]
R&R at Journal of Demographic Economics
This paper examines how the number of siblings that parents have affects their fertility decisions. I exploit the population control policies in China, which affected individuals unequally across birth cohorts and regions. The exogenous variation in fertility is used to identify the effect of the number of siblings on the number of children for the next generation. The results show that a couple tends to have 0.068 more children (4.3% of the average number of children) and is 5.6 percentage points more likely to violate the One-Child Policy (19.4% of the violation rate) if the husband and the wife have one more sibling each. Moreover, the effect on fertility is stronger for couples in rural areas where the One-Child Policy was enforced less strictly. I also show that ideal family size, especially that of the wife, is an important channel through which the number of siblings affects fertility.
Evaluating the Impact of Hukou Reform on Fertility and Human Capital Accumulation during China's Urbanization, with Shengzhi Mao and Jipeng Zhang
Industrial Robots and Firm Entry (in Chinese), with Shaojian Chen and Hui Mao. Economic Science (经济科学), forthcoming.
Gender Role Attitudes and Fertility Revisited: Evidence from the United States, with Qianqian Shang. Population Review, 2020. [Link]
Leader Origin, Local Information and Regional Economic Growth: New Evidence from Chinese City-level Data (in Chinese), with Shaojian Chen and Zongxian Feng. South China Journal of Economics (南方经济), 2019. [Link]
The Impact of within-Household Relative Income on Happiness: Does Gender Identity Matter?, with Wan-Hsin Liu and Qianqian Shang. Journal of Research in Gender Studies, 2018. [Link]
The Effects of Climatic Change on Unrest in North China Plain during Qing Dynasty (in Chinese), with Ming Lei and Weihua Yu. Research of Institutional Economics (制度经济学研究), 2015. [Link]