Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar
Guilherme Lichand


Guilherme Lichand, Assistant Professor at the University of Zurich (UZH)
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Webinar streamed via Zoom

The Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar is the Economics department's weekly seminar, featuring external speakers in all areas of economics.

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As part of the Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar series, the International Economics Department at the Graduate Institute is pleased to invite you to a public talk given by Guilherme Lichand, Assistant Professor at the University of Zurich (UZH).

The paper he will present his paper Parent-Bias, coauthored with Juliette Thibaud.

Abstract: This paper uses a lab-in-the-field experiment in Malawi to document two new facts about how parents share resources with their children over time. First, for many parents, the share of the household budget that they plan to allocate to their children increases with the time gap between plans and actual consumption. Second, many parents systematically revise future plans away from children’s consumption as the time gap between plans and actual consumption decreases – even when consumption is still in the future. Those patterns are consistent with parents discounting their future utility of consumption to a greater extent than that of their children. We document that parents characterized by such asymmetric geometric discounting display sizable preference reversals every period, a phenomenon we denote parent-bias. We find that, despite ambitious plans, those parents actually allocate less to their children in the present than other parents, and that such preferences are predictive of under-investment in children outside the lab. Commitment devices designed for present-bias do not mitigate parent-bias. Our findings provide a new explanation for under-investment in children and inform the design of new interventions to address it.


Since 2016, Dr Guilherme Lichand is a Research Director of the Center for Child Wellbeing and Development at the University of Zurich. He uses lab-in-the-field experiments to study the impacts of poverty on decision-making. His research also combines natural experiments and randomized control trials to explore corruption and state capacity.

Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar

Parent-Bias (Preliminary Version)