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Essays on Development Economics

Trias, JM; (2013) Essays on Development Economics. Doctoral thesis (PhD), UCL ( University College London). Green open access

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Chapter 1 investigates the impact of weather-related income shocks on infant mortality in rural Ecuador. I find that favorable weather conditions during the growing season have a negative effect on infant survival rates when the harvest takes place during the first and third trimester of pregnancy, and the first trimester following birth. My results suggest that the negative effects of an increased ma- ternal labour supply, following a positive agricultural productivity shock, during pregnancy and the first trimester after birth outstrip the positive effects resulting from the consequent higher income when considering year-to-year weather fluc- tuations. I also find that favorable weather during the growing season reduces -via maternal time- prenatal care, skilled assistance at birth, and breastfeeding duration and frequency. Chapter 2 explores the presence of spillover effects on schooling outcomes from the Colombian welfare program, “Familias en Acción”, on ineligible households in rural areas. The program provides cash subsidies to poor families conditional on children school attendance. I find that ineligible chil- dren — those living in a household that has not been classified as poor—residing in targeted areas are more likely to stay in the school during the transition pe- riod between primary and secondary school. My results suggest that peer effects might play an important role in schooling decisions as the increased grade com- pletion rate of the peer group increases the individual completion. Chapter 3 uses a randomized experiment to examine the causal effect of improving hous- ing conditions on child health, and adult mental health. We find that replacing floors, upgrading toilets, kitchen, and play areas has no impact on child health but these results are subject to a high level of non-selective attrition on children. We also find that the program improves caregiver’s mental health as measured by the CES-D depression score

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: PhD
Title: Essays on Development Economics
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: 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 > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1395926
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