Essays in Development Economics

Francisco Oteiza Aguirre

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis aims at improving our understanding of the constraints under which poor households make decisions. The first two chapters deal with the exposure of rural poor households to extreme weather events, using the cases of Tanzania and Peru as examples. Using a panel of Tanzanian farms, I first show that a combination of satellite data, for temperature, and reanalysis data, for precipitation, successfully captures the impact of weather variables on yields. I then explore some of the margins of adjustment available to farmers when exposed to temperature shocks, and discuss my results within the existing theory and evidence. Chapter 2, co-authored with Fernando Aragon and Juan Pablo Rud, takes a closer look at farmer reactions after experiencing a temperature weather shock. Using data from a representative sample of Peruvian farmers, coupled with satellite weather data, we study how high temperature affects farmer yields. Then, using a model of producer-consumer households, we tease out the negative impact of shocks on productivity, net of farmer reactions during the course of the growing season. Chapter 3 was co-authored with Laura Abramovsky, Britta Augsburg, Melanie Luhrmann and Juan Pablo Rud. Using data from a randomised controlled trial designed by the team, we study how households make sanitation investments. We show that an information campaign increased toilet ownership in the short, but not the medium term. We also find that the intervention was successful at increasing expected benefits from toilet ownership related to pride and social status, but did not affect household's perceptions of other benefits, such as private health or privacy, nor increased their awareness of health externalities.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Rud, Juan Pablo, Supervisor
Award date1 Feb 2018
Publication statusUnpublished - 5 Jan 2018

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