Christian Maruthiah

Christian Maruthiah

PhD Candidate in Economics

CEMFI

Welcome!

I am a PhD Candidate in Economics at CEMFI with interests in Political Economy, Development Economics, and Economic History.

I am particularly interested in studying the effectiveness of government policy in generating cultural change and reshaping ethnic identities.

I am on the 2023-24 academic job market.

Interests

  • Political Economy
  • Development Economics
  • Economic History

Education

  • Ph.D., Economics, (expected) 2024

    CEMFI

  • M.Sc., Economics and Finance, 2020

    CEMFI

  • B.A., Economics and Japanese, 2013

    University of Melbourne

Job market paper

Coercive Assimilation Policy and Ethnic Identification Across Generations: Evidence from American Indian Boarding Schools

Coercive Assimilation Policy and Ethnic Identification Across Generations: Evidence from American Indian Boarding Schools

Culture and identity have fundamental economic, social, and political implications. Throughout history, governments, colonial powers, and other state actors have sought to reshape these characteristics through assimilation policies and indoctrination efforts, often targeting ethnic minorities. In this paper, I show that coercive assimilation policy can cause substantial cultural change among ethnic minorities, but that these effects do not necessarily persist into later generations, and may even reverse. I focus on a historical policy in the United States under which authorities removed Native American children to distant boarding schools. I exploit the staggered recruitment patterns of schools and variation in cohort exposure to facilitate causal identification. I show that exposure to boarding schools offered few economic benefits, but did lead to substantial cultural and social assimilation. Treated cohorts were more likely to speak English, more likely to give their children western names, and more likely to be perceived as `White’ in their communities. However, I find that these effects reversed in the next generation. I show that stronger ethnic identification, associated with exposure to boarding schools and transmitted across generations, is a plausible channel for these effects. Ultimately, the schools seem to have strengthened the identities they sought to erase.

Work in progress

References

Monica Martinez-Bravo

mmb@cemfi.es

Tom Zohar

tom.zohar@cemfi.es

Dmitry Arkhangelsky

darkhangel@cemfi.es

Teaching

Development Economics (CEMFI)

Teaching Assistant for Spring 2020 and 2021
Instructor: Monica Martinez-Bravo

Contact