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Title: Essays in development economics
Author: Lopez Pena, Paula
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 7211
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis consists of three chapters, which address different but related research questions, using original data collected during extensive field work in Bangladesh. Chapter one studies the impact of training in stress management on firm outcomes in Bangladesh. 310 female owners were recruited and one-half was randomly offered a 10-week training based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the current best practice treatment for chronic stress. The other half was assigned to an active control group and received empathetic listening. Initially, CBT reduces stress levels but does not affect profits and sales. For owners in sectors with a high concentration of women, predominantly clothing and handicrafts shops, the effect of CBT on stress dissipates within six months and it has no effect on profits and sales. For owners in sectors with a lower concentration of women, such as electronics or interior design, the effect of CBT on stress persists six months after the treatment, and profits and sales grow over time. Chapter two uses a reverse Becker-DeGroot-Marschak (BDM) mechanism to elicit the willingness to accept a one-time subsidy to try formal childcare in 17 low-income communities in Bangladesh. We visited 635 households with preschool-age children and invited the 415 that were not using childcare to participate in the BDM. The median and modal amounts demanded to try the service are 500 Bangladeshi Taka, approximately 6 US dollars. Households where the head owns a business or does not work demand significantly lower subsidies, compared to those where the head is in wage employment. Respondents living in low-quality dwellings, or in communities where daycare use is low, also demand smaller subsidies. One month after receiving the subsidy, only 17 parents had visited the centre and 9 enrolled their child. These results suggest that a single cash transfer might not be an effective policy for increasing preschool enrollment and regular attendance in low-income urban areas. Chapter three studies correlations between physical and mental health outcomes, employment and household infrastructure in a sample of 1,778 low-income households in Greater Dhaka, Bangladesh. Women and urban dwellers have lower well-being levels than men and residents of peri-urban areas, even after controlling for occupation, consumption and household infrastructure. Participation in paid employment is associated with higher levels of stress for women, but the effects are concentrated on women who own a business or work as domestic helpers. Female garment workers, the largest occupational group among women, fare no worse than women who do not work. Proximity to central Dhaka is associated with higher access to improved sanitation but worse health. Peri-urban dwellers spend less days sick and with fever than those living in the city.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HC Economic History and Conditions