Publications

2012
Avi Ben-Bassat and Momi Dahan. 2012. “Social identity and voting behavior.” Public Choice, 151, 1, Pp. 193-214. Abstract
This paper uses the unique social structure of Arab communities to examine the effect of social identity on voter turnout. We f?rst show that voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who shares their social group (signified by last name) as compared to other candidates. Using last name as a measure of group affiliation, an inverted U-shaped relationship between group size and voter turnout has been found (borderline significant) which is consistent with theoretical models that reconcile the paradox of voting by incorporating group behavior.
2011
Dahan Momi and Nisan Udi. 2011. “Explaining Non-Take-up of Water Subsidy.” Water, Vol 3, Iss 4, Pp 1174-1196 (2011), 4, Pp. 1174. Abstract
We use two separate quasi-natural experiments to explore the relative importance of information and administrative costs in explaining non-take-up of water subsidy. The first “experiment” shows that the take-up rate of a household with lower administrative costs is not significantly different from otherwise identical households. In contrast, using the same program, the second “experiment” reveals that the take-up rate of a household that is more likely to be informed is substantially higher compared to otherwise identical households. These findings support the idea that information plays a major role in explaining non-take-up of water subsidy.
2010
Dahan Momi and Nisan Udi. 2010. “The effect of benefits level on take-up rates: evidence from a natural experiment.” International Tax and Public Finance, 2, Pp. 151. Abstract
This paper exploits a quasi-natural experiment to study the effect of social benefits level on take-up rates. We find that households who are eligible for double benefits (twins) have much higher take-up rate - up to double - as compared to a control group of households. Our estimated effect of benefits level is much higher relative to the standard cross section estimates. This finding is less exposed to a selection bias that might plague much of the previous research on the link between benefits level and take-up. It provides strong empirical support for the level of benefits as a key factor in determining take-up rates.(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
Avishai Afriat and Momi Dahan. 2010. “Socioeconomic Bias in Voting for the Knesset.” Israel Economic Review, 8, 1, Pp. 1 - 20.
2008
Avi Ben-Bassat and Momi Dahan. 2008. “Social rights in the constitution and in practice.” Journal of Comparative Economics, 36, Pp. 103 - 119. Abstract
This paper presents a new data set on constitutional commitments to social rights (CCSR) for 68 countries. Quantitative indices are constructed for five social rights: the right to social security, education, health, housing and workers rights. We find two clear groups classified by legal origins: countries which share the tradition of French civil law generally have a higher CCSR than those that share the tradition of English common law. The CCSR in socialist countries is closer to French civil law, whereas countries with a German or Scandinavian tradition resemble the English common law countries more closely. Then the paper addresses the following question: is the constitution a binding constraint on public policy? We have not found a robust effect of CCSR on public policy except for the constitutional right to social security. Journal of Comparative Economics36 (1) (2008) 103–119.
Momi Dahan. 2008. “Why has the labor-force participation rate of Israeli men fallen?” Israel Economic Review, 2, Pp. 95.
2007
Momi Dahan and Udi Nisan. 2007. “Unintended consequences of increasing block tariffs pricing policy in urban water.” Water Resources Research, 43, 3, Pp. n/a. Abstract
We exploit a unique data set to estimate the degree of economies of scale in water consumption, controlling for the standard demand factors. We found a linear Engel curve in water consumption: each additional household member consumes the same water quantity regardless of household size, except for a single-person household. Our evidence suggests that the increasing block tariffs (IBT) structure, which is indifferent to household size, has unintended consequences. Large households, which are also likely to be poor given the negative correlation between income and household size, are charged a higher price for water. The degree of economies of scale found here erodes the effectiveness of IBT price structure as a way to introduce an equity consideration. This implication is important in view of the global trend toward the use of IBT. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
2006
Momi Dahan and Udi Nisan. 2006. “Low Take-up Rates: The Role of Information,” 3, 4, Pp. 1174-1196. Abstract
This paper exploits a quasi-natural experiment to study the role of information in determining take-up patterns of social benefits in a non-stigma environment. We find that take-up rate of households who have the incentive to search for information for a longer period of time is between 8 and 13 percentage points higher as compared to a control group of households. This result is robust to the inclusion of various household characteristics. Our finding provides strong empirical support for information as an important explanation for low take-up rates.
2003
Article written by multiple authors
Momi Dahan and Alejandro Gaviria. 2003. “Parental actions and sibling inequality.” Journal of Development Economics, 72, Pp. 281 - 297. Abstract
This paper presents a simple model of resource allocation within the family. The model is based on two main assumptions: there are nonconvexities in human capital investments and parents cannot borrow to finance their children's education. The model shows that poor and middle-income parents will often find it optimal to channel human capital investments into a few of their children, thus creating sizable inequalities among siblings. The paper shows that the predictions of the model are consistent with the available evidence for three Latin American countries.
2002
Momi Dahan. 2002. “The rise of earning inequality.” The Israeli Economy, 1985-1998: From Government Intervention to Market Economics, Edited by Avi Ben-Bassat, MIT Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, , Pp. 485-517. Abstract
In Hebrew:
2001
Momi Dahan and Alejandro Gaviria. 2001. “Sibling Correlations and Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America.” Economic Development and Cultural Change, 3, Pp. 537. Abstract
No abstract is available for this item.
2000
Momi Dahan and Michel Strawczynski. 2000. “Optimal Income Taxation: An Example with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates: Comment.” The American Economic Review, 90, 3, Pp. 681-686.
1998
Dahan Momi. 1998. “The Fiscal Effects of Monetary Policy.” IMF Working Papers. Abstract
This paper develops a simple framework to examine the budgetary implications of monetary policy measures. It further outlines, using this framework, the various channels of influence that tight monetary policy may have on the budget deficit. The cumulative effect might be quantitatively large although each effect might be small. Most of the effects tend to increase the budget deficit as result of tight monetary policy, but tight monetary policy causes a short-run decrease in the government debt. Thus, macroeconomic policy coordination should be considered.
Momi Dahan and Zvi Hercowitz. 1998. “Fiscal policy and saving under distortionary taxation.” Journal of Monetary Economics, 1, Pp. 25. Abstract
An examination of Israeli economic data showed how fiscal variables can affect the savings rate equation in a small open economy. Distortionary income-tax policies were shown to have negative partial effects on the whole model, in contrast with the Keynesian framework that posits a positive comovement in both the income tax rate and national savings rate. This is due to the observation that a higher income tax rate signals a lower tax rate in the future due to intertemporal budget constraint. Other factors that enhanced national savings were higher consumption tax and unilateral transfers to the public sector of government funds.
Momi Dahan and Daniel Tsiddon. 1998. “Demographic Transition, Income Distribution, and Economic Growth.” Journal of Economic Growth, 3, 1, Pp. 29-52. Abstract
This article investigates the dynamic interactions among demographic transition, income distribution, and economic growth. Consistent with empirical evidence we show that fertility and income distribution follow an inverted U-shaped dynamics in the process of economic development. In the first stage fertility increases and income inequality widens, whereas in the second stage fertility declines, income becomes more equally distributed, human capital becomes more abundant, and growth of income per capita takes off. The model therefore generates the documented facts about epochs of demographic transition, relying neither on arguments based on "near rationality" nor on noneconomic objectives.
1996
Strawczynski Michel and Dahan Momi. 1996. “Government finance and endogenous growth.” Applied Economics Letters, 12, Pp. 789. Abstract
A crucial assumption for the solution of the endogenous growth model with government intervention is a balanced budget along the perpetual steady state. This assumption is unreal once we are interested to test the model using government data, given that in most countries the budget is not balanced. In this letter we adopt the well-known rule of 'tax smoothing' in order to make this assumption a realistic one. According to our approach the relevant variable for the implementation of a balanced budget is permanent government expenses. The empirical performance of the model is characterized using Israeli data.
Momi Dahan and Michel Strawczynski. 1996. “The Public Sector Budget and Economic Growth in Israel.” Journal of Economic Development, 21, 1, Pp. 119 - 148.

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