Research Projects Beginning with G

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Gender Inequality in China

PSTC researcher Short joins Juhua Yang of People’s University in Beijing to examine patterns of housework among husbands and wives in China over the period 1989 to 2006.  They find that as of 2006, Chinese wives on average do five times more housework than their husbands, a gender difference that is little changed since 1989.  This study suggests that highly asymmetric housework arrangements can be maintained in settings with high female labor force participation.

Genome-Wide Association Studies of Adiposity in Samoans

McGarvey examines the role of genetic variation in influencing the extent of obesity in Samoa. In-depth dietary, physical activity, socio-demographic and village environmental information is collected from more than 3,000 adult Samoans residing throughout the developing country of Samoa. Genome scan methods will be used to identify across the whole genome susceptibility loci for obesity in this population.

Geography, Diversity and the Origins of the Wealth of Nations

In work with a former student, they test the hypothesis that societies that are either too cohesive or too diverse will grow more slowly than those with an optimal intermediate level of diversity. It is tested using the fact that the process of human migration out of Africa created substantial variation in genetic diversity across the globe, with those populations that are furthest from Africa being more homogenous. The evidence is supportive of the optimal diversity hypothesis and robust to consideration of other hypotheses such as those related to climate or opportunities for trade.

Global Health Framework at Brown University

This education grant will increase training and research opportunities in global health for Brown University students and faculty.

Governance and Inequality in Indian Cities

Patrick Heller, Ashutosh Varshney (Brown University)

Indian cities face tremendous challenges of governance because of entrenched inequalities and accelerating urban migration. Yet the social science literature on urban governance in India is conspicuous by its absence. This interdisciplinary team proposes to fill this gap through a long-term research project that is motivated by three fundamental questions. First, what are the predominant patterns of inequality in urban India and how is inequality structured? Second, how are Indian cities governed and how do these patterns of governance both reflect and impact patterns of inequality?

Great Expectations: Humanitarianism and the Invention of AIDS Orphans in Botswana

Dahl’s anthropological research in Botswana explores the social effects of international humanitarian organizations' efforts to provide aid during the HIV pandemic, with particular focus on programs that support orphaned children. She also finds a significant tradeoff associated with the provision of aid. In particular, aid workers provide an alternative and much needed source of authority and nurture for orphans; but in so doing the workers erode the traditional kin-network as an alternative source of care giving.

Groundwater and Land Management in Rural India

Foster has a series of projects on groundwater in rural India that also focus on issues of scale in agriculture. A central question in this body of work is how the spatial distribution of the population affects the rate of aquifer depletion. In joint work with a former student he finds surprisingly that water markets are more likely to arise in areas where water is not scarce. He also finds that whether water buying or selling increases or decreases aquifer depletion depends in part on the relative sizes of neighboring farms.