In the first chapter, I investigate a potential channel to explain the heterogeneity of kin networks across societies. I argue and test the hypothesis that female inheritance has historically had a positive effect on in-marriage and a negative effect on female premarital relations and economic participation. In the second chapter, my co-authors and I provide evidence on the positive association of in-marriage and corruption. We also test the effect of family ties on nepotism in a bribery experiment. The third chapter presents my second joint paper on the consequences of kin networks. Taking a bigger-picture approach, we define a kinship intensity index based on basic elements of kinship systems such as marriage practices, residence patterns, and lineage organizations. Combining data on 20 psychological outcomes, we show that a significant portion of the existing psychological variation around the world originates in the differences of kin networks. Using historical measures of Church exposure, we also show that the variation in these differences arose historically from the Catholic Church’s marriage and family policies.
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Thesis advisor: Dow, Gregory K.
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