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Essays in the evaluation of human capital investment policies

Lopez Garcia, I; (2015) Essays in the evaluation of human capital investment policies. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In this thesis dissertation, I study which factors drive human capital investments at different stages of the life-cycle by using structural dynamic behavioral models, and what we can learn from these models in order to design better labor and education policies in the long-term. Over the three chapters of this work I assess policy relevant questions that are either related to both developing and developed countries, and I show how these methodologies can be used in conjunction with other more traditional approaches to perform two types of policy evaluation: the assessment of existing policies, or ex-post policy evaluation, and the prediction of economic behavior under policies that have not been yet implemented, or ex-ante policy evaluation. My work has two main goals. The first goal is methodological. I show the gains of structural modeling in understanding the mechanisms behind human capital investments, for example the disentanglement of preferences, returns and expectations, and the importance of dynamics. I also show how these models can be complemented and even better identified when they are combined with experimental data. The second goal is to answer some relevant economic questions for which there are still no answers. On one hand, I study the determinants of labor informality and self-employment in developing countries disentangling the role of comparative advantage and labor market segmentation on labor informality. On another hand, I study the determinants of parental investments in children and their effects in child development, first emphasizing the role of parental income and financial constraints, and then focusing on less investigated factors like parental beliefs and attitudes towards child-rearing.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Essays in the evaluation of human capital investment policies
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://sites.google.com/site/italolopezg/
Language: English
Keywords: Human Capital, Labor Informality, Early Child Development, Intergenerational Mobility
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/1460897
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