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Title: Essays in labor economics
Author: Navarrete, Nicolás
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 7952
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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In Chapter 1, we estimate the causal effect of homeownership on employment using a regression discontinuity design that exploits an arbitrary threshold arising from a homeownership program that assigns a house to low-income families in Chile. We establish that homeownership decreases employment by between 3.95 and 5.60 percentage points. These results contrast with previous non-experimental literature, which has often found positive effects. Our findings seem to be driven by children of the heads of households not entering the labor market, rather than workers being motivated to leave their job. We also find that residential stability and neighbourhood quality are unlikely to drive the effects, contrary to what has been proposed by previous theoretical papers. Chapter 2 studies the effect of homeownership on the academic achievements of children in the household, using a regression discontinuity design that exploits an arbitrary threshold arising from a voucher-based homeownership assistance program in Chile. Despite the fact that the homeownership program substantially increases the quality of the homes in which students live, I do not find that it affects their test scores. In a subgroup analysis, I find that homeownership decreases the test scores of elementary school students by 0.16 to 0.18 standard deviations. These effects may be due to the fact that, when receiving a voucher, many families cease to live with a hosting family, who are often close relatives (e.g. grandparents), and begin living in their own house. This seems to suggest that students experience a decrease in learning support that was previously provided to them by those close relatives. My results contrast with previous studies, which have often found positive effects of homeownership on students' academic achievements. In Chapter 3, I exploit a plausibly exogenous variation in the characteristics of principals to explore their effectiveness in improving school outcomes. Using a difference-in-differences approach, I find that principals appointed under the reform tend to be younger, less experienced, and more highly educated. Drawing from a panel dataset of teacher responses, I observe that the new principals improve the general climate in their schools by decreasing violence and expanding community engagement. On the other hand, they do not improve teacher-monitoring practices, teachers' pedagogical methods, or students' test results. A plausible explanation for these results is the lack of positive or negative incentives given to principals based on the performance of employees in their schools. Evidence in this paper suggests that, in certain institutional settings, school principals do not seem to be as relevant as is often assumed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HB Economic Theory