The Impact of Access to Electricity on Education and Other Essays in Spatial Economics

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Title
The Impact of Access to Electricity on Education and Other Essays in Spatial Economics
Contributors
Squires, Timothy L (creator)
Weil, David (Director)
Foster, Andrew (Reader)
Adam, Storeygard (Reader)
Brown University. Economics (sponsor)
Doi
10.7301/Z0TT4PCH
Copyright Date
2015
Abstract
The first chapter examines how district size affects the bargaining power of teachers unions and the allocation of school resources. Our identification strategy exploits the fact that 33 states mandate collective bargaining while 5 states prohibit it. In states that mandate collective bargaining, we find that beginning salaries and the premium paid to experienced teachers increase with district size while the teacher-pupil ratio declines with district size. In contrast, in states that prohibit collective bargaining we find a negative relationship between district size and the premium paid to experienced teachers. The second chapter examines malaria’s impact on economics activity. Previous research estimating the impact of malaria on economic activity has been inconclusive and has struggled with certain estimation problems. Specifically, there are concerns that previous results have been driven by country specific characteristics, poor measures of malaria, or the presence of other diseases. This paper addresses each of these concerns. I introduce a novel and more accurate measure of malaria at the grid square level to reduce the measurement error problem. By using this geographically finer measure of malaria, combined with nighttime lights and population data as a proxy for economic activity, I am able to control for country fixed effects. The results suggest that reducing malaria prevalence by 20% would increase GDP by 20%. The third chapter estimates the effect of access to electricity on school attendance and educational attainment. I take advantage of individual level data matched with community level electrification dates, allowing me to study the effect of access to electricity on completed education as well as the age-specific hazard of dropping out of school. Contrary to expectations, I find that access to electricity reduces educational attainment. The reduction in education was accompanied by an increase in childhood employment, suggesting that improved labor market opportunities, due to electricity access, led to the increased dropout rates.
Keywords
Electricity
Malaria
Teachers' unions
Notes
Thesis (Ph.D. -- Brown University (2015)
Extent
10, 96 p.

Citation

Squires, Timothy L., "The Impact of Access to Electricity on Education and Other Essays in Spatial Economics" (2015). Economics Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://doi.org/10.7301/Z0TT4PCH

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