Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Essays on the effects of the Homestead Act on land inequality and human capital, the effects of land redistribution on crop choice, and the effects of earthquakes on birth outcomes
Author: Lillo Bustos, Nicolás A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7657 7586
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Chapter 1: Land Inequality and Human Capital: Evidence for the United States from the Homestead Act. This chapter uses historical records of land patents and county level census data to estimate the impact of the Homestead Act of 1862 |an egalitarian land distribution policy implemented in the United States| on land inequality, school enrolment, and literacy during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The results show that the Homestead Act reduced land inequality and increased school enrolment and literacy, and that there is not heterogeneous effects on school enrolment by sex, but the effect is driven by the impact on children of primary school age. Using the Homestead Act as an instrument for land inequality, the results show that land inequality had a strong negative impact on school enrolment. This result is relevant to the literature because identification does not rely on variation across geographic, climatic, or soil characteristics. These results are robust to the inclusion of state specific year fixed effects and are not driven by convergence. On the contrary, I argue that convergence in school enrolment was a consequence of the Homestead Act. Chapter 2: Land Redistribution and Crop Choice: Evidence from Reform and Counter-Reform in Chile. This chapter uses unique historical data on the Chilean land reform of the 1960s and 1970s to estimate the impact that redistribution had on land inequality and crop choice. The results show that land redistribution had a persistent negative effect on land inequality, and that areas that were treated with more reform increased their share of land cultivated with fruits, vegetables, and vineyards, and lowered the share of land destined to forest plantations. The fact that a military coup interrupted the reform process allows for the comparison of the effects of reform and counter-reform, which sheds light on the mechanisms through which redistribution operated. I find that land that was transferred to new owners drive the results for crop choice, but not those for land inequality. Chapter 3: Earthquakes and Birth Outcomes in Chile. This chapter estimates the e effects of earthquakes on birth weight and length of gestation. I use administrative data on the universe of live births in Chile between 1994 and 2011. I combine that data with GIS raster information from USGS ShakeMaps to assign a detailed measure of earthquake intensity for each birth during each trimester of pregnancy. I find that, although the baseline estimates suggest a weak negative effect, these results are not robust to the exclusion of births from a strong 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of south-central Chile, which caused approximately 500 casualties, heavy infrastructure damage, and significant disruption to the government's logistics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor