Essays on Human Capital Development and Local Labor Markets

dc.contributor.advisor Tarui, Nori Ofori Adofo, Josephine
dc.contributor.department Economics 2020-11-25T18:24:19Z 2020-11-25T18:24:19Z 2020 Ph.D.
dc.subject Economics
dc.subject Cognitive ability
dc.subject early life
dc.subject electrification
dc.subject Health
dc.subject labor markets
dc.subject Oil
dc.title Essays on Human Capital Development and Local Labor Markets
dc.type Thesis
dcterms.abstract This dissertation investigates contemporary issues related to human capital formation and local labor markets. In the first chapter I analyze the impact of a free health policy on children’s outcomes. Many developing countries are considering abolishing health user fees on maternal and child healthcare. However, quantitative studies on how the removal of user fees affects children’s outcomes are scarce. I show that access to health care through the removal of user fees in early life significantly improves children's cognitive ability. I find that children who received care both in utero and during their early childhood experienced larger gains. Maternal nutrition, timely receipt of vaccinations, and regular infant health visits explain this improvement. The last two chapters study how shocks to natural resources and unreliable infrastructure affect labor markets. Chapter 2, joint with Nori Tarui and Tomomi Tanaka, examines the impact of natural resource shocks on local labor markets. We identify this impact by studying an offshore oil discovery and it subsequent production. Districts with oil experienced substantial increases in employment and earnings relative to non-oil districts. These impacts are stronger for skilled workers. We find that increases in employment in non-oil local sectors are largely concentrated in manufacturing and construction. In Chapter 3, I investigate the effects of electricity shortages on labor market outcomes. Although electrification rates have increased in developing countries, the poor quality of electricity still remains a challenge. This chapter analyzes the effect of electrification at the intensive margin, using an industrial census and nighttime lights data from satellite imagery. I find that power outages significantly reduce employment, wages, and hours of work. Changes in industry composition, decreases in industry growth and a reduction in the prevalence of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) appear to be likely mechanisms by which outages affect employment. The results suggest that unreliable electricity has negative implications for job creation in developing countries.
dcterms.extent 115 pages
dcterms.language en
dcterms.publisher University of Hawai'i at Manoa
dcterms.rights All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
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