Grants for Graduate Thesis - 1st edition

In the context of the project "Fostering capacities in Impact Evaluation in Latin America," the Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies, CEDLAS with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC-Canada), organized a call for thesis proposals that use Impact Evaluation techniques for PhD and Master's students based in Latin America.

The selected proposals are:

Garganta, Santiago    
Doctorado en Economía - Universidad Nacional de La Plata
Transferencias Monetarias Condicionadas y Participación Laboral Femenina: el caso de la Asignación Universal por Hijo en Argentina

This paper explores the potential effects of the Universal Child Allowance (AUH) program in Argentina on female labor force participation. The AUH provides a large monthly cash transfer to unregistered workers with children. This intervention may reduce parents' participation in the labor market compared to a counterfactual scenario of an the absence of the program. Since income elasticity of labor supply tends to be larger for females than for males and given that women are typically the recipients of this subsidy (and responsible for the fulfillment of education and health conditionalities of their children), we expect the effect to be larger for mothers. Unfortunately, identifying causal effects of the program is not simple because it was not randomly assigned in the population. Our identification strategy consists in comparing eligible women (women in poor, informal households with children) with non-eligible women over time (difference in difference). Although, there are reasons to believe that this program may reduce the incentives of women to participate in the labor market, in practice these disincentives could be quantitatively irrelevant or be compensated by other forces that do not necessarily operate in the same direction. Thus, the practical relevance of this potential effect can only be determined with empirical evidence.

Gaviria Garcés, Carlos Felipe
Doctorado en Economía - Universidad del Rosario
Towards universal health coverage in developing countries: Health insurance and young adults’ usage of medical services in Colombia

In this study we exploit a specific regulation in Colombia that exogenously changes health insurance coverage of young adult dependents –specifically those turning 18 years old-- to analyze the effects of losing health insurance coverage on their health service usage and health status. We assess this effect using a regression discontinuity design (RDD) and data from the Encuesta Nacional de Calidad de Vida Survey for Colombia (from 2008 to 2013) and Multipropósito Survey for Bogota, for 2011. Losing coverage implies an increase in the cost of some medical services, which may reduce their consumption (i.e. preventive services). Additionally, since under Colombian regulations, emergency department (ED) visits are free regardless of health insurance status, uninsured young adults will tend to use this service more instead of regular medical procedures (such as preventive healthcare, or visits to physicians or specialists). Thus, losing health insurance coverage will change the relative prices of medical services, which in the Colombian case may entail a substitution of cheap medical services for expensive ones –from the point of view of the system– such as visits to the ED. We expect to find that turning 18 years old entails a discontinuity in health insurance coverage, and, as a consequence, a reduction in the usage of medical services such as preventive healthcare. Due to the Colombian regulation in place, this will also result in an increase in visits to the ED, which implies a substitution of cheap medical services for more expensive ones (from the point of view of the system) or of expensive ones for cheap ones (from the perspective of uninsured young adults). This study contributes to the current literature on the effect of insurance status on health care usage and health outcomes in developing countries using a credible identification strategy.

Lozano Alvarez, Tania Alexis
Maestría en Economía - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Efectos de las pensiones no contributivas en la salud y participación laboral del adulto mayor

In developing countries, a large population of individuals including active workers and elderly adults do not have insurance against the risk associated with old age. Social security is closely linked to access to formal jobs and therefore formal coverage systems of protection against old age is scarce. In this regard, several countries around the world have introduced a vigorous debate regarding an adequate design of the pension system. In particular, non-contributory pensions have gained notoriety. The main purpose of this programs is to supply financial security and improve the welfare of the elderly (Holzmann et al, 2010). However, although their positive effects are widely accepted, to date, the channels through which these programs contribute to the welfare of the elderly and their families are not well understood. This is explained by their recent integration in social policy and by the fact that effects are quantified at an individual level.The lack of disaggregated data and the problem of selection bias makes it difficult to estimate the causal effect of interest.
In this proposal, we make progress in both directions. We use a rich database, the National Survey of households-ENAHO 2012-2014, touse a variety of welfare indicators to evaluate the impact of access to a non-contributory pension program called "National Solidarity Pension Assistance Program 65" (P65) that was - launched in 2012 and targeted adults over 65 years from extremely poor households. Analysis follows a regression discontinuity design. Specifically, we control for selective uptake by taking advantage of the institutional design of the Peru. Since 2010, a household is eligible for a social program if a welfare index (calculated using socio-economic variables) known as the Household Targeting Index (-IFH) is below a certain threshold specific to each region. Analysis is thus based on a natural experiment that is generated by the variation around IFH's threshold at 65 years of age. Also, due to the highly sensitive implementation of the design, we also evaluate using evaluate a differences in differences design with propensity score matching.

Parada, Cecilia
Doctorado en Economía - Universidad Nacional de La Plata
Efectos sobre el empleo de la extensión de la cobertura de salud a los cónyuges de los trabajadores formales. Diferencias entre hombres y mujeres.

There is ample evidence that firms and individuals in developed countries react to the incentives introduced by tax and benefit systems. There is less evidence of these types of reactions in developing countries, and this is due in part to the fact to the prevalence of labor market informality, wich implies an additional margin of adjustment. This paper evaluates the impact of a policy in Uruguay that extended health insurance acces to formal workers’ partners on labor market outcomes. The study covers men and women’s employment participation and informality status, and pays particular attention to individuals in couples and their joint reactions. In general, women are more prone than men to changing their employment choices. Therefore, this study will analyze differential behavioral reactions to incentives to participate in paid and unpaid work, and in registered employment. The empirical identification exploits the extension of coverage of contributive health insurance for partners of registered workers, which took effect December 2010. The identification strategy will rely on this exogenous policy change, comparing the labor market outcomes of single and married individuals over time, using a differences in differences framework. 

Rosa, Leonardo    
Master in Economics    - University of Sao Paulo
Evaluating the impact of the "Jovem de Futuro" Experiment on Test Scores

This project proposes an evaluation of a social experiment in Brazilian secondary schools, called “Jovem de Futuro”. The characteristics of the experiment are in line with the impact evaluation approach, once treatment was defined in school level and randomization was used to select the treated units. Furthermore, the core of the intervention is based in technical and financial support. In line with the aims of the experiments this project intend to: (i) evaluate treated student’s performance in standard tests; (ii) analyze heterogeneity effects to verify which type of schools got better results due to the program.

Mendez Sayago, Johanna Mildred    
Doctorado en Economía de los Recursos Naturales y Desarrollo Sustentable - Universidad Nacional Agraria la Molina convenio UNALM-UNAM
Evaluación del impacto de las tasas retributivas en Colombia

This research proposal aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the Tasas Retributivas in Colombia, as a tool for controlling pollution of water bodies in Colombia, improving the econometric estimation of the impact of the Tasas Retributivas on dumping. First trying to prove by techniques for assessment of impact if the Tasas Retributivas led to a reduction in the concentration of pollutants BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) and TSS (total suspended solids) in the discharges of firms. Later is to establish whether the decisions of abatement are taken under bounded rationality, obeying more to a perception of the remuneration rate as a penalty and not as an economic instrument. For this the significance of variables fee rate and collection of fees as a punitive instrument in a model of reducing the concentration of pollution discharges be determined.

What's new

Tenth Meeting

Impact Evaluation Network
Washington, D.C., USA

March 22nd to 24th, 2017


Training on Impact Evaluation of Public Policies - Intermediate Level

Instructor(s): María Laura Alzúa, Guillermo Cruces, Santiago Garganta and Marcelo Bérgolo
La Plata, Argentina
October 17-21, 2016

Basic Training on Impact Evaluation of Public Policies

Instructor(s): María Laura Alzúa, Leonardo Gasparini, Martín Cicowiez
La Plata, Argentina
April 18-22, 2016

Impact Evaluation at Masters in Economics at Universidad Nacional de La Plata

Instructor(s): Maria Laura Alzua
La Plata, Argentina
Since 2009

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