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Grant Success: “Missing girls: Understanding the causes”

Astghik Mavisakalyan has won funding under the Australia-Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme   for a new project titled: “Missing girls: Understanding the causes”, in collaboration with Stephan Klasen (University of Goettingen) and Anna Minasyan (University of Goettingen)

Summary: In some parts of the world, the ratio of men to women is unusually high, a phenomenon coined as ‘missing women’. Historically, increases in this ratio during and after wars have been observed but not consistently studied. This project will provide the first comprehensive examination of the link between wars and sex ratios.

Our analysis will focus on the case of South Caucasus, a region that has seen eruption of conflicts as well as significant increases in sex ratios following the collapse of the Soviet Union. We will a) decompose ‘missing women’ by age and region; b) estimate the causal effect of war on sex ratios; and c) evaluate the role of underlying mechanisms (biological, cultural, e.g. son preference).

Drawing on a unique community-level dataset, our identification strategy will exploit the case of the Nagorno-Karabagh border conflict (between Armenia and Azerbaijan) and will rely on difference-in-difference method using the variation in distance to border and timing of conflict. This approach will difference out the effects of other factors (e.g. fertility decline, economic insecurity, etc.) on sex ratios.

The results will have important implications for gender equity in the war-torn countries of the wider region (Middle East, North Caucasus) and beyond.


Grant Success: “Inside the black box: Intra-household resource allocations of older couples”

The WiSER team, led by Siobhan Austen, was successful in the latest ARC Discovery Project round, securing  funding for a 3 year project titled “Inside the black box: Intra-household resource allocations of older couples”

Summary: This project aims to analyse processes and outcomes within older households using national, large-scale representative data and mixed methods research design. In an ageing population where households are becoming responsible for provisioning retirement needs, understanding what happens in older couple households is important. The project expects to influence policy by generating evidence relevant to the design of regulations governing the allocation of superannuation assets, tax incentives for alternative forms of retirement savings, asset and income tests on the Age Pension, and initiatives targeting older Australians’ financial literacy.