Mariia Kovaleva Research Teaching CV


“Poor and wealthy hand-to-mouth households in Belgium” Published, Review of Economics of the Household, November 2023  
with Laurens Cherchye , Thomas Demuynck , Bram De Rock , Geoffrey Minne, Maite De Sola Perea and Frederic Vermeulen


We identify the population shares of poor hand-to-mouth households, wealthy hand-to-mouth households and non hand-to-mouth households in Belgium. We apply the methodology proposed by Kaplan & Violante (2014) and Kaplan et al., (2014) to the Belgian component of the Household Finance and Consumption Survey. We find that the fraction of hand-to-mouth households in Belgium is substantial and predominantly consists of wealthy hand-to-mouth households. We also compare the observable characteristics and marginal propensities to consume (MPCs) of the three household types. Belgian wealthy hand-to-mouth households have characteristics that resemble those of the non hand-to-mouth households, while their MPCs are often more similar to those of the poor hand-to-mouth households. This pleads for giving a unique place to each type of household when evaluating the effects of fiscal policy

Working papers

“A Spouse and a House are all we need? Housing Demand, Labor Supply and Divorce over the Lifecycle” (submitted)  
with Bram De Rock and Tom Potoms

To analyze the impact of changes in the value of marriage on household decisions, we present a limited commitment framework of household behavior in which decisions are made regarding labor supply, divorce and housing demand over the lifecycle. We identify and estimate our structural model using exogenous variation in female labor supply and divorce rates due to the White v. White case in England. We conclude that limited commitment dampens the added worker effect, while the changes in the value of marriage due to a housing price shock have an asymmetric impact on individual welfare both across gender and marital state. We also show that tightening the credit market in different ways can lead to opposite behavior in terms of household savings and female labor supply.

Work in Progress

“Personality traits, the marriage market, and household behavior”  
with Gastón P. Fernández
We develop an empirical framework to analyze the dynamic effect of personality traits in marriage market patterns and intrahousehold decisions. We exploit detailed information at the individual level from the HILDA survey about consumption, labor supply, time use, and personality traits (as measured by the Big Five). First, we document that personality types are related to marital and divorce patterns, time allocated to both market labor and non-market labor activities, and the evolution of earnings. Next, to rationalize these empirical facts, we build a life-cycle model that integrates endogenous household formation and collective household choices under limited commitment. Our framework allows personality to affect both wage offers and individual preferences. In the latter, personality traits enter indirectly through the intrahousehold production of public good and the utility of marriage (match quality). We use the estimates of our model to conduct policy counterfactuals associated with sorting in the marriage market and intrahousehold behavior. Gender differences in child care preferences, the marriage market, and gender inequality with Sarah Rosenberg

“Subjective Expectations and Family Decisions”  


I examine fertility and parental labor supply decisions allowing for heterogenous expectations. I developed a new model and incorporated fertility choices into the dynamic collective framework with the biased perception of marital stability. I use this model to understand the career costs of fertility weighing economic benefits together with psychological factors. In particular, I explore if the biased perception of stability impacts fertility, loss of skills during interruptions, and lower accumulation of individual assets. Lastly, I assess the extended implications of policies that promote fertility and maternal labor supply, with a focus on childcare subsidies and paternity leave initiatives.

“Gender Inequality, the marriage market and the preferences for childcare”  

with Sarah Rosenberg