Essays in Applied Microeconometrics
Vella, Francis G
The first chapter of the dissertation investigates whether remittances affect child's schooling and labor outcomes in Bangladesh, specifically enrollment in school, labor and household chores participation and performance on reading, English and math tests. To control for the endogeneity of remittances, we use an appropriate control function procedure. We employ the change in the exchange rate of remittances senders' countries of residence as exogenous variation to identify the effect of interest. We find that remittances have a statistically significant positive impact on children's school enrollment and their reading, English and math scores. There is no impact on the likelihood of child labor or household chores participation.The second chapter investigates the impact of income on an individual's subjective health self-assessment. We employ recently developed methods in the nonlinear panel data literature to account for the presence of individual heterogeneity and the endogeneity of income. We examine a panel data set of individuals living in Australia and find no statistically significant relationship between income and health responses.Moreover, the evidence suggests that the variation in the individual specific effects, comprising both observed and unobserved time invariant factors, is primarily responsible for the variation across individuals' responses.The third chapter examines the presence of immigrant network effects in the Australian labor market. We focus on four relatively important immigrant groups to analyze the impact of these networks on employment and income outcomes of newly arrived immigrants. We find an overall positive impact of ethnic networks on employment and income outcomes of newly arrived immigrants. We find, however, that the magnitude and the sign of the network impact vary by country of origin. Finally, we present some evidence that labor market outcomes of newly arrived immigrants improve with the network quality.
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Schroeder, Elizabeth (Georgetown University, 2011)This dissertation applies recent econometric techniques using control functions to outstanding questions in the labor and development literatures.