Three Essays in Applied Microeconometrics
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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For the first chapter, past literature has shown that 1970 amendments to the Clean Air Act (CAA) led to significant reduction in air pollution early 1970s, and that it had positive infant health consequences for the cohorts treated by CAA. Because effects of in-utero and early childhood conditions are persistent, and the health effects can remain latent for years, CAA may impact the future adult outcomes. In this paper, I investigate the impact of the CAA on the future crime. In a difference-in-differences framework, I find that the cohorts that were born in the year of the CAA’s first implementation commit fewer crimes 15 to 24 years later. The magnitude of this impact is about 4 percent. Property crimes rather than violent crimes are impacted. I also estimate that CAA reduced the ambient air pollution by 14 percent. These reduced form estimates suggest that a one percent reduction in air pollution reduces future crime rate by 0.3 percent. For the second chapter, many papers in the past literature provide evidence on the impact of athletic performance on various school outcomes. This paper uses the weekly college football poll by the organization Associated Press (AP), to investigate the effect of a college team ranked in top 25 on various school outcomes such as revenues and expenses of school, coaches’ salary, and enrollment. The college football poll also known as AP poll conducts weekly voting to assign the teams certain points based on which these teams are ranked. The results are twofold: First, I verify the visibility of a school using google trends by exploiting the discontinuity arising due to the points of 25th ranked versus 26th ranked team. And second, the results provide evidence of the impact of this visibility of being in top 25 on positive school outcomes. In the third chapter, we study the role of peoples’ attitudes on their labor market behavior. Focusing within a household, we estimate how one’s labor market decisions are dependent on their partner’s labor market outcomes, and how these decisions are driven by their culture component. Historically, man has been associated as the primary earner in a family. We argue that culture might play a role in determining a person’s labor market outcomes as it induces an aversion to the situation of when the wife earns more than the husband. We find that husbands increase their participation as well as hours worked in the labor market if their wives earn more and this effect is even more prominent if they are from a country where people have the traditional view that man should be the primary bread-winner for the family. However, wives do not exhibit any such behavior. We argue that this irregularity is explained by the role that culture plays on forming labor market decisions. This result is important as it might contribute to the explanation of the slowdown in the convergence of the gender gap in the recent past.