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Title: Essays in applied economics
Author: Lotti, Giulia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 5349
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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We live in a world where resources are limited and how we invest them has an impact on the citizens’ wellbeing. The goal of this thesis is to provide, through the tools of economic analysis, some insights for the optimal allocation of our resources in three different areas: economics of crime, economics of education and economics of labour. First, societies aim at lowering crime rates and this is why a great amount of resources is spent in punishing offenders. How effective is punishment in lowering crime rates is still unclear: what are the forms of custody that deter lawbreakers from resuming their life of crime? Through a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, we show that keeping young offenders separate from their older peers and far from an overcrowded environment is beneficial only when rehabilitation is offered. Second, empowering women and enhancing children’s early childhood development are two important objectives that are often pursued by independent policy initiatives in developing countries. Understanding the consequences of exploiting potentially beneficial complementarities in pursuing both aims together can be relevant. Through a quasi-natural experiment we evaluate a program implemented in Quito, Ecuador, that targets both. We find that women who are involved in the education of their children are empowered in different dimensions, as reflected in their higher likelihood to find full-time employment in the formalsector and in their greater independence in intra-household decision-making. Children’s dropout rates decrease, while school grades and scores on cognitive tests increase, particularly for girls. Finally, governments can introduce and raise minimum wage levels in order to protect their workers. We want to understand the implications of minimum wages on informal markets in developing countries. By exploiting relative variation in minimum wages across labour market groups within countries we show that a higher minimum wage is associated with a larger selfemployment share.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HB Economic Theory