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Title:Three essays on the effects of shocks from conflicts and family size in Latin America
Author(s):Malasquez Carbonel, Eduardo Alonso
Director of Research:Akresh, Richard
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Akresh, Richard
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Powers, Elizabeth T; Osman, Adam; Crost, Benjamin
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Civil conflict
Social capital
Civic participation
Political economy
Instrumental variables
Latin America
Applied microeconomics
Micro econometrics
Abstract:This thesis discusses the long-run effects of exposure to shocks in developing economies in Latin America. Chapters 1 and 2 focus on the effects of exposure to violence in the context of the Peruvian armed conflict occurred from 1980 to 2000, while chapter 3 studies the impacts of family size on female labor supply of Latin American women with two or more children. The first chapter estimates the effects of exposure to violence associated with the Peruvian civil conflict on trust in government institutions and on participation in social organizations finding that violence exposure reduces the levels of trust in government institutions, especially when the exposed population identifies the government as the responsible of the acts of violence. The second paper aims to shed light on how alternative measures of conflict exposure can affect the estimated impacts of conflict. The results suggest that the definition of conflict exposure influence not only the magnitude of the estimated effects, but also their statistical significance. The third chapter relies on an instrumental variable strategy to estimate the causal relationship between family size and female labor supply using data from 15 countries in Latin America in 2010. The results of this paper suggest a positive relationship between family size and some labor market outcomes such as number of hours worked per week and formality. Chapter 1: Does conflict undermine social capital? Long-run evidence from Peru Could conflict have a lasting impact on a society's social capital even long after it ends? If so, how does conflict exposure affect individuals' trust in government and institutions and their participation in social organizations? This paper exploits the progression of the 1980-2000 conflict in Peru over time and space to show that exposure to conflict reduces trust in government institutions and participation in local social organizations associated with the provision of public services. Overall the results suggest that exposure to conflict has negative effects on trust in institutions such as district and province governments and institutions of the electoral system and the media, although these effects do not translate to other types of civil organizations like the Church, the Ombudsman's office or to the police. The estimated results suggest that the age period from 7 to 18 years old is key for the development of trust in government authorities, while the period immediately after the minimum legal age for voting (18 years old in Peru) is relevant to establishing trust in the institutions of the electoral system. These negative impacts seem to be driven by exposure to violence perpetrated by government forces. Finally, results showing the effects of civil conflict violence on participation reveal a negative relation between conflict exposure and participation in groups associated with the public provision of services such as education and food security, while the effects of violence on participation in cultural, political and social organizations are negligible. Chapter 2: Measurement matters: evidence from alternative definitions of conflict exposure on the estimated effects of the Peruvian conflict This paper discusses the estimated effects of alternative measures of conflict exposure on human capital accumulation and labor market outcomes focusing on exposure during the early stages in life. The measures analyzed include a binary indicator variable of exposure and continuous measures based on the number of events and length of exposure. The paper exploits the progression of conflict violence across space and time, along with unique individual level information from the Peruvian national household survey to construct alternative measures of conflict exposure and estimate their effects. The results reveal that the estimated effects of conflict exposure are sensitive to the measure of exposure to violence used. Moreover, relying on a consistent database to compare alternative measures of conflict violence, this paper finds that there is no obvious definition of exposure to the Peruvian conflict that produces consistent results across multiple outcomes of interest. One recommendation derived from these results is that future studies on the effects of conflict exposure should include a sensitivity analysis of the robustness of the estimates to alternative measures of conflict as well as a discussion on the potential transmission mechanisms of the violence shock and the criteria used to select a specific measure of exposure. Chapter 3: Does Family Size Affect Female Labor Supply? Evidence from Latin America What is the relationship between childbearing and female labor supply in Latin America? This paper tries to answer this question using an instrumental variable (IV) approach based on the gender mix of the first two siblings in families with two or more children in Latin America. The paper uses household survey data from fifteen Latin American countries in 2010 to estimate the effect of childbearing on the labor supply of women living in urban areas. The results suggest a positive relationship between family size and the number of hours worked per week for married women (about 24 additional hours), and a negative effect of family size on the probability of married women working on the informal sector (a 57 percent reduction). However, family size does not have a causal impact on female participation in the labor market. This paper also finds that the estimates are not homogeneous across all groups of women. The effects on informality are driven by married women with at least some secondary education, while younger women (18 to 28 years old) tend to reduce the number of hours they work with family size, in contrast with the average effect for all married women.
Issue Date:2017-10-31
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Eduardo Alonso Malasquez Carbonel
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-03-13
Date Deposited:2017-12

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