I use experimental methods to evaluate economic two possible development policies. Experimental techniques allow for a clearer understanding of causality and provide reliable evidence of the treatment effect of a policy change. Field experiments have been a mainstay of development economics. More recently, laboratory experiments have been used to understand individual behavior and, to a lesser extent, been applied to questions of development. I take advantage of both of these techniques to analyze two policies: making formal insurance available in developing countries and encouraging households to adopt improved cookstoves. I create a laboratory experiment in which participants make individual investments that yield variable returns and I exogenously introduce the option to informally share yields within a small group. I also create a mechanism that exhibits two characteristics of formal insurance; lower yield variability and higher expected returns before accounting for the cost of the mechanism. I analyze the investment and informal sharing effects this mechanism has on individuals operating in small groups. Using a laboratory experiment allows me to disentangle the effects of formal and informal insurance on investment decisions. In my third chapter, I take advantage of field experiment data to analyze the effect improved cookstove adoption has on fuel expenditure. The common theme of these two projects is my use of experimental techniques to offer insight into policies for the developing world.
|School:||North Carolina State University|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Environmental economics, Economics|
|Keywords:||Cookslove, Experimental economics, Investment, Laboratory, Risk|
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