Essays in empirical development economics
Author(s)Duflo, Esther, 1972-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Economics.
Abhijit V. Banerjee and Joshua Angrist.
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This thesis is a collection of three essays in empirical development economics. The first chapter evaluates the effects on education and wages of a large school construction program undertaken by the Indonesian government between 1973 and 1978. I evaluate the effect of this program on education and wages by combining differences across regions in the number of schools constructed with differences across cohorts induced by the timing of the program. The estimates suggest that the construction of primary schools led to a substantial increase in education and earnings. These estimates implie returns to education ranging from 6.4% to 9.1%. This second chapter studies the impact of household resources on child nutrition in South Africa. In the early 1990s, the benefits and coverage of the South African social pension program were dramatically expanded for the black population. About a third of black South African children under age 5 live with an elderly person. This chapter examines whether this large positive income shock was followed by an improvement of anthropometric status. Estimates suggest that pensions received by women had a large and significant impact on the anthropometric status of girls and a smaller and insignificant effect on that of boys. I found no effect of the pension on child nutrition when it is received by men. The third chapter examines the role that reputation plays in determining contractual outcomes, using a data set containing detailed information about 230 projects carried out by 125 software firms that I have collected for this purpose. Ex ante contracts as well as the outcome after ex post renegotiation vary with firms' characteristics plausibly associated with reputation. I propose a model of the industry where reputation determines contractual outcomes, whose predictions are consistent with several facts observed in the data.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Economics, c1999.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Economics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology