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Essays in Applied Microeconomics and Development

Minale, L; (2015) Essays in Applied Microeconomics and Development. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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In my thesis I address questions in applied microeconomics within two topic areas: the first is the effect of news media on perceptions and political outcomes; the second is labour allocation and internal migration decision making in developing country settings. In the second chapter I exploit a unique natural experiment occurred in the Italian television market - the staggered timing of the digital TV signal introduction - to study the influence of information provided by partisan news media on the perceptions individuals hold, focusing on perceptions about crime. Combining unique data on each channel’s crime news coverage and prime-time viewing shares, I find that reduced exposure to crime-related news decreased concerns about crime and did so mainly for older individuals who, on average, watch more television and use alternative sources of information less frequently. I also provide evidence of potential effects on voting. In the third chapter I study the relation between household migration decisions and the distribution of risk attitudes within a household in a rural-developing country setting. I do so by developing and testing - with data from internal migrants and their family members left behind in rural China - a household model of migration decision with heterogeneous risk preferences. Findings suggest that risk attitudes of household members other than the migrant affect not only individual migrations but also whether a household sends a migrant at all. In the fourth chapter I analyse if and in what measure individuals and households in rural China reallocate labour across sectors in response to agricultural productivity shocks. I match panel data of individual and household labour supply histories with detailed weather information, which I use to proxy agricultural productivity. Results suggest that farming is reduced and urban sector employment increased in response to negative rainfall shocks, both along the intensive and the participation margin; that responses are heterogeneous across age; and that land tenure insecurity might partially prevent households from freely reallocating labour away from farming.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Essays in Applied Microeconomics and Development
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470867
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