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Essays on poverty, inequality, vulnerability and social policies, with reference to Chile

Flores Arenas, BA; (2017) Essays on poverty, inequality, vulnerability and social policies, with reference to Chile. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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This thesis consists of three chapters on the empirical analysis of poverty, inequality, and vulnerability, and on the evaluation of public policies that attempt to reduce social inequalities in Chile. Chapter 1 presents a study of the impact of a new Chilean school subsidy, which is delivered by the government to state funded schools for each student who is identified as a priority in terms of her socioeconomic status. The empirical strategy relies on comparing the test scores of different cohorts of students over time. Suitable difference-in-differences and individual fixed-effect estimators are developed to compare the differential growth of test scores among three cohorts of students. Chapter 2 is aimed at analysing how peers affect the participation in family allowance for poor families in Chile called Subsidio Unico Familiar (SUF). Peer effects are analysed in neighbourhoods by exploiting variation in the information about social programs delivered by Chile Solidario program (CS), which is random for a subset of households. A regression discontinuity design is implemented by exploiting the fact that eligibility to receive the visit of social workers of CS was random around municipality level cutoffs on an index of wealth, and thus unrelated with other observable and unobservable factors which influence participation in SUF. Chapter 3 presents an analysis on how social interactions among low-income women affect their labour market behaviour. Specifically, the aim is to quantify the causal social effect of female neighbours’ behaviour on the individual decision of participating in the labour force. The model is based on the literature of discrete choice with social interactions and extends a standard model of participation in work by including the choices of female neighbours in the utility function. The empirical strategy exploits the geographic location of low-income households in Chile to identify neighbours of neighbours who are not closest neighbours, and their choices are used to construct instruments for the behaviour of closest neighbours.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Essays on poverty, inequality, vulnerability and social policies, with reference to Chile
Event: University College London
Language: English
Keywords: School subsidies, difference-in-differences estimator, impact evaluation, spillover effects, regression discontinuity, program participation, social interactions, female labour supply
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/1546486
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