Essays in Applied Microeconomics

Agyei Asiamah, Henrietta
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University of Guelph

This thesis consists of three Essays in Applied Microeconomics. Chapter 1 focuses on childhood chronic poverty estimates that look beyond a count approach. Chapter 2 examines the link between early childhood chronic poverty experiences and adult outcomes. Chapter 3 examines the relationship between women legislators in Africa and foreign aid allocations. In addressing the question of which child suffers greater chronic poverty, Chapter 1 looks beyond a count-based approach by paying attention to poverty measurement approaches that account for the timing, spacing and severity of poverty spells. I compare chronic poverty experiences between groups of children based on race, age of mother at birth, region, type of household, parental educational attainment and experiences of parental marital dissolution. Not surprisingly, non-whites suffer more chronic poverty than whites. This study shows that this difference is significantly increased when the timing and spacing of poverty spells are accounted for. Chapter 2 investigates the association between chronic poverty experiences from birth to age 10 and later life outcomes at age 25 and 30 using chronic poverty measures that account for the timing, spacing and severity of poverty spells. After controlling for correlates of childhood poverty, the results reveal that assessing the link between chronic child poverty and adverse outcomes in adulthood based solely on time spent poor, ignoring critical aspects of chronic poverty, gives misleading estimates of the extent of damage suffered by adults who experienced chronic poverty as young children. Chapter 3 examines the recent rise in the share of women legislators globally. We document a strong and statistically robust relationship: an increase in the share of women legislators from 15 to 20 percent is associated with an increase of about 4.3 percent in aid conditional on current levels of aid. We also show that the most effective policy instrument to implement higher women representation in national legislators in Africa is through reserved seats for women. We estimate that reserving seats for women in parliaments in a recipient country is associated with about a 53 percent increase in aid receipts.

chronic poverty, early childhood, foreign aid, women in parliament