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Title: Essays on the allocation of labour and capital in Indonesia
Author: Sharma, Anisha
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 4303
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This dissertation comprises three essays on the allocation of labour and capital in a large developing country, Indonesia. In the first essay, I examine the impact of the 1998 East Asian recession on child schooling outcomes in Indonesia. Using panel data on 7-15 year-olds, I exploit the heterogeneous impact of the recession across urban communities as measured by the variation in rice price increases, under the assumption that communities where rice prices increased the most were those where real wages declined the most. I find that for the youngest children (aged 7-12 years) there is a large negative impact of higher rice prices on school attendance and no effect on labour market participation. For older children (aged 13-15 years), schooling enrolment does not respond to rice prices but labour market participation declines sharply in the worst-hit communities. I find no evidence of adverse long-term consequences on human capital formation. In the second essay, I test the hypothesis that there exists a significant earnings differential between similar workers in the formal and informal sectors. Using panel data on salaried and self-employed individuals, I find that after controlling for firm size and individual-specific heterogeneity, there is no formal sector earnings premium, except in the public sector. The results are robust to the presence of unpaid family workers, measurement error, and non-random attrition in the survey. This questions the commonly held belief that labour markets in developing countries are segmented because of legal institutions that protect high formal sector earnings. In the third essay, I estimate the effect of a large exchange rate depreciation on the performance of importers. The ability to manage volatility in the cost of imported inputs is likely to depend on a firm's access to external sources of finance as well its ability to hedge against exchange rate movements. Using data from a census on Indonesian firms, I find that while domestic importers face lower value-added due to a rise in their costs of production, foreign-owned importers fare better: they are more likely to sustain higher value-added, hire more labour and use more materials than domestic owned firms. This suggests another channel through which FDI can add value to a firm in a developing country, particularly with the increasing importance of trade in intermediate goods.
Supervisor: Dercon, Stefan ; Rice, Patricia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economics ; development economics ; labour economics ; microeconomics ; economics and education