Gigi Foster

Gigi Foster
UNSW Sydney | UNSW · School of Economics

PhD

About

63
Publications
6,494
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639
Citations

Publications

Publications (63)
Article
Full-text available
Social norms can have a persistent influence on outcomes. Since the end of World War II, men have been the primary breadwinner in most households in the developed world, and US data from the late twentieth century suggests violation of this norm stresses partnerships. Is this still true? We examine whether female breadwinning makes partnerships les...
Article
Behavioral norms vary widely across social groups, in areas as diverse as fashion, table manners, and gender roles. In spite of increasing interactions and mobility across nations, significant differences persist in norms across societies. What sustains these different norms? We demonstrate how behavioral coordination on a particular norm can resul...
Article
It is apparent that love influences people's choices, yet little work in economics has focused on how love develops or why it matters for resource allocation decisions. Here, we present a simple dynamic model of how love develops and evolves, recognizing our parsimonious model will not capture all the nuances associated with such a complex topic. N...
Article
The time allocated to household chores is substantial, with the burden falling disproportionately upon women. Social norms about how much housework men and women should do are likely to influence couples’ housework allocation decisions and satisfaction. Using Australian data spanning 2001–14, this study employs a two-stage estimation procedure to e...
Article
We examine the nature of stated subjective probabilities in a complex, evolving context in which participants are not told what the actual probability is: we collect information on subjective expectations in a computerized car race game wherein participants must bet on a particular car but cannot influence the odds of winning once the race begins....
Article
This paper examines the welfare loss caused by import restrictions on bananas in Australia, which we argue to be a classic rent‐seeking policy. We propose a new micro‐model of agricultural production under uncertainty and production delays and ask whether, due to cyclones and the timing of planting decisions, Australian banana import restrictions h...
Article
Chapter 3 of the 2017 Australian Productivity Commission's recent report ‘Shifting the dial’, commissioned by the Commonwealth Treasurer to interrogate ‘Australia's productivity performance’, focuses on education policy. The Treasurer explicitly asks that the report include ‘recommendations on productivity‐enhancing reform’, and Chapter 3, entitled...
Article
Full-text available
We examine how men and women in mixed-gender unions change the time they allocate to housework in response to labor market promotions and terminations. Operating much like raises, such events have the potential to alter intra-household power dynamics. Using Australian panel data, we estimate couple-specific fixed effects models and find that female...
Article
We explore responses of Australian school principals to the introduction of test score reporting via the My School website in 2010. Theory suggests that heightened public scrutiny should motivate principals to adopt best practices for improving their schools' test results. We use responses from both public and private schools to a custom‐built ques...
Chapter
Cooperation within larger groups is often endangered by incentives to free ride. One goal of market and institutional design is to create environments in which socially efficient cooperation can be achieved. The main point in this chapter is that only considering first-order incentives to cooperate within a larger group may not be sufficient, as su...
Chapter
Multitasking is an inevitable part of everyday life. Perhaps it is most evident in the context of child care, where adults frequently look after children while also doing other things such as cooking or cleaning. Yet, far more broadly, most people in modern societies are engaged in simultaneous activities for a large fraction of their waking hours—...
Chapter
One major goal of this volume was to show that multitasldng can be incorporated into a standard economic household production model in which individuals choose to engage in multitasking in order to enhance their productivity and, hence, their utility or well-being. Chapters 2 and 3 presented complementary theoretical models that provide this econom...
Chapter
Time-use data show that people frequently multitask when performing household production activities, especially child care, and that this is especially true for women (see, e.g., Floro and Miles 2003; Kalenkoski and Foster 2008; Offer and Schneider 2011; and Zaiceva and Zimmerman 2011). It has been conjectured that this is because women have greate...
Chapter
Concerns about diluted grading standards in higher education have been an easy conversation starter over the past 30 years in developed Western nations. Why have these concerns arisen? Are they well founded? If real, does grade inflation present a threat to the higher education sector or to scientific progress - And if so, why? What is the prognosi...
Article
This article provides an introduction to the method of laboratory experimentation in economics, an overview of a selection of experimental studies, and a discussion of the findings and frontiers of this area of research. Emphasis is placed on how lessons from the economics laboratory are related to and can complement ideas and theory in other scien...
Article
Is the rise in inequality in Australia due to global changes in the distribution of marginal productivity or changes in the allocation of political favours? This article lays out the arguments for both views. Looking at the tax and subsidy changes that favour the rich, and considering that almost all the 200 richest Australians look like the benefi...
Chapter
Concerns about diluted grading standards in higher education have been an easy conversation starter over the past 30 years in developed Western nations. Why have these concerns arisen? Are they well founded? If real, does grade inflation present a threat to the higher education sector or to scientific progress – and if so, why? What is the prognosi...
Chapter
Concerns about diluted grading standards in higher education have been an easy conversation starter over the past 30 years in developed Western nations. Why have these concerns arisen? Are they well founded? If real, does grade inflation present a threat to the higher education sector or to scientific progress – and if so, why? What is the prognosi...
Article
Agents form expectations about the future in many markets, and these expectations drive investment and consumption behavior, inform entry and exit choices, and can even provide direct satisfaction or distress. How agents form expectations is therefore of central interest to economists. This paper reviews three competing theories and then provides e...
Article
The increasing availability of large-N datasets on students, schools and student achievement has produced an explosion of research in education economics over the past 20 years. In this data survey, we first review the micro-level education datasets presently available around the world, focusing on their strengths and data access protocols, and we...
Article
The recent financial crisis has affected most countries. With cutbacks in business, trade and government spending, millions world-wide have lost their jobs, with young people disproportionately affected. This paper synthesizes the thoughts expressed during an interdisciplinary discussion held in July 2013 among economists and psychologists from a v...
Article
Obtaining consistent estimates of spillovers in an educational context is hampered by two issues: selection into peer groups and peer efiects emanating from unobservable characteristics. We develop an algorithm for estimating spillovers using panel data that addresses both of these problems. The key innovation is to allow the spillover to operate t...
Article
In this paper, we present and test the empirical implications of competing theories about how expectations of outcomes affect utility. In the first utility formulation, which is consistent with particular interpretations of disappointment, prospect theory and regret theory, individuals receive negative utility from outcomes that were worse than exp...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we compare three theories of utility formation: prospect theory, regret theory, and a combination which additionally allows for direct utility flows from positive expectations. We then test which of these theories best explains actual connections between health and welfare over time, using a rich Australian data set on health expectat...
Article
We present a household production model that incorporates multitasking and results from a customized experiment designed to measure the individual-specific productivity parameters from this model. We observe these productivity parameters under alternative incentive scenarios, designed to mimic changes in the relative utility payoffs to the two task...
Article
In this paper, I take a simple game-theoretic view of educational production within universities to frame a discussion of pedagogical power, effort, and influence in Australian higher education. After introducing the stylised game structure, I first compare the role of teachers in Australian universities to that of university teachers elsewhere in...
Article
Do international students and/or students from non-English language speaking backgrounds (NESB students) perform worse than other students in Australian undergraduate classrooms? What happens to other students' marks when these students are added to classrooms? I provide new empirical evidence on these questions using very recent administrative pan...
Article
Why are people loyal? How do groups form and how do they create incentives for their members to abide by group norms? Until now, economics has only been able to partially answer these questions. In this groundbreaking work, Paul Frijters presents a new unified theory of human behaviour. To do so, he incorporates comprehensive yet tractable definiti...
Article
We propose a simple short-cut to the problem of estimating endogenous peer effects from observed behavior: asking students about peers' ability and their own effort. Our survey evidence indicates that students believe in own-peer complementarities in educational production.
Article
Tertiary education is now accessible even to those who appear unlikely ex ante to succeed in jobs requiring post-high school education. Institutions that have broadened access to their programs must rely on two things to protect the quality of the degrees they award: selection mechanisms operating during students’ tenure, and effective teaching. Th...
Article
The standard household production model does not incorporate multitasking, although time-diary data reveal that individuals regularly multitask. We formulate a model where time spent in child care can be sole-tasked or multitasked with other household production activities. This model implies associations between household productivity factors and...
Article
Some beginning students of statistics and econometrics have difficulty with traditional algebraic approaches to explaining regression and related techniques. For these students, a simple and intuitive diagrammatic introduction as advocated by Kennedy (2008) may prove a useful framework to support further study. The author presents a series of diagr...
Article
Recent researchers (Fryer Jr., R.G., Levitt, S.D., 2004. The causes and consequences of distinctly black names. Quarterly Journal of Economics 119 (3); Figlio, D.N., 2003. Names, expectations, and black children's achievement. Working Paper; Bertrand, M., Mullainathan, S., 2004. Are Emily and George more employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A field e...
Article
Some beginning students of statistics and econometrics have difficulty with traditional algebraic approaches to explaining regression and related techniques. For these students, a simple and intuitive diagrammatic introduction may prove a useful framework to support further study. This paper presents a series of diagrams designed for use in an intr...
Article
Full-text available
Using data from the 1992 and 1997 Australian Time Use Surveys, we explore patterns in the quality of child care time spent by parents in Australia. Drawing on existing research, we construct and evaluate four alternative ways of defining child care quality. We estimate censored regression models of the time parents spend in high-quality child care...
Article
Using a new administrative panel data set from the University of Maryland, this paper explores conventional peer effects and the effects of socially proximate peers at a large public university where some students are randomly assigned to housing. Results show that there is little evidence of robust residential peer effects on undergraduate perform...
Article
Venous leg ulcers affect approximately 0.6% of the western population, consuming millions of healthcare dollars every year. To determine whether an alternative venous ulcer treatment using horsechestnut seed extract-- Aesculus hippocastanum-- and conventional therapy involving dressings and compression was more cost-effective than using conventiona...
Article
To evaluate the clinical efficacy of orally administered horsechestnut seed extract in the treatment of venous leg ulcers. In a prospective triple-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial, 54 patients with venous leg ulcers from a large South Australian community nursing service were randomly allocated to receive horsechestnut seed extract (n=27)...
Article
This paper addresses the emerging educational framework that envisions threshold concepts as mediators of learning outcomes. While the threshold concepts framework is highly appealing on a theoretical level, few researchers have attempted to measure threshold concept acquisition empirically. Achieving this would open a new arena for exploration and...
Article
Full-text available
Economists and psychologists often assume that people sort into groups based on similarities. In this article, the validity of this assumption is examined using pairwise data and a new application of a proven analytical technique. I use a unique administrative data set that follows undergraduate students as they move from quasi-randomly assigned ho...
Article
Tertiary education is now accessible even to those who appear unlikely ex ante to succeed in jobs requiring post-high school education. Institutions that have broadened access to their programs must rely on two things to protect the quality of the degrees they award: selection mechanisms operating during students' tenure, and efiective teaching. Th...
Article
Full-text available
We develop a new strategy for estimating peer efiects when there are multiple obser- vations per person and the peer group varies across observations. This technique allows us to explicitly account for student flxed efiects and uses these student flxed efiects to formulate the ability level of the peer group. Monte Carlo evidence shows that our al-...
Article
Students routinely choose others to partner with in studying or discussing course material. The in∞uence of study groups on their members may difier de- pending upon the student-level preferences expressed in this choice. This study searches for evidence of such heterogeneity by exploiting a unique classroom ex- periment in study group assignment w...
Article
Students, like people in other contexts, routinely make choices about various aspects of their environ- ment. One such choice for students is deciding whom to partner with in studying or discussing course material. Study groups may exert peer in∞uence on their members, but that in∞uence, as well as other determinants of grades, may difier depending...
Article
Many recent studies have shown that students beneflt in the sense of improved educa- tional outcomes from having high-quality peers around them. A key unknown is whether peer attributes complement or substitute own inputs into education. If they complement own inputs, then assortative matching into learning groups is the optimal outcome both from a...

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