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Essays on human capital formation over the life cycle

Salvati, Francesca; (2021) Essays on human capital formation over the life cycle. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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A large literature in economics has highlighted the importance of human capital as a cause and consequence of economic inequality. In this thesis, I study different determinants as well as dynamics of human capital development at various stages of the life cycle. The chapter titled "The Effect of Classroom Rank on Learning throughout Elementary School: Experimental Evidence from Ecuador" investigates the causal impact of classroom rank on the learning of children using experimental data from Ecuador. We find that children with higher classroom rank at the beginning of the academic year have significantly higher math test scores at the end of that grade. The impact of classroom math rank is larger for younger children, and grows substantially over time. Exogenous changes in classroom rank in math also improve cognitive flexibility, non-cognitive skills, and teacher perceptions of students. The chapter titled "Human Capital Growth and Poverty: Evidence from Ethiopia and Peru" estimates the production functions of health and cognition from childhood into adolescence, characterizing the nature of persistence and dynamic complementarities between these skills. It shows that differences in investments by parental income lead to large gaps in skills by age 8 that persist through age 15. Finally, the chapter titled "Health Inequality, Labor Supply and Retirement Policies" examines the dynamic relationship between health and employment of women at older ages in a rich structural model of consumption, savings, labor supply and health which allows for a two-way interaction between health and employment. The estimated model is used to study welfare implications of increases to the state pension age highlighting the differential effects of the policy due to differences in health, and, conversely, what role the policy plays in shaping health inequalities.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Essays on human capital formation over the life cycle
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128521
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