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Title:Essays on health and education in development economics
Author(s):Cantet, Natalia
Director of Research:Thornton, Rebecca
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Thornton, Rebecca
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Kleemans, Marieke; Powers, Elizabeth; Akresh, Richard
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Policy decision-making increasingly relies on rigorous evaluations of public interventions. As governments worldwide face social pressures to simultaneously take care of the most vulnerable and be fiscally responsible, assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of public policies is recognized as an important tool. To accomplish such goal, the field of applied economics offers many methodological approaches to estimate the causal impact of policies. In this thesis, I present three self contained empirical papers that asses the impact of governmental interventions or study the impact of common behaviors that may have significant policy implications. In chapter 2, I study the effects of effects of teenage pregnancy on education and early labor force participation of urban South African women. In chapter 3, I exploit a nation wide reform that eliminated school fees in Ethiopia to examine the effects of maternal education on child health. The two chapters are linked by the creation of similar methodological framework. The two papers are also tied together through the study of motherhood-related topics. In chapter 2, early motherhood is looked at as a cause for the later outcomes. In contrast, in chapter 3 I focus on how human capital investments leads to increases in child health. I shift from the link between education and health to the pathways through which income affects health in chapter 4. I explore the impact of a pension program that target elderly individuals on mental health and overall wellbeing in rural Nigeria. Although the population of interest in this chapter is quite different, the chapter shares a key characteristic with the third chapter in that both analyze government policies that aim at improving the welfare of a vulnerable group of people.
Issue Date:2020-04-30
Rights Information:2020 Natalia Cantet
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-26
Date Deposited:2020-05

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