Essays in Empirical Development Economics

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2020

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Social norms can play an important role in economic decision-making. Individuals face costs if they deviate from cultural norms in their families or communities, and firms seek to preserve reputation in order to bolster their position in their market. In this dissertation, I explore the role of cultural norms and reputation in individual, household, and firm decision-making in developing countries. The first chapter is comprised of information and priming experiments on a job search platform in urban Pakistan identifying the role of social norms and workplace attributes on educated women's job search and occupational choice. The second chapter studies the relationship between gold price in year of birth and household decision-making at adulthood using nationally representative data in India. The third chapter combines a lab-in-field generosity game with field-based measures of healthcare provider effort to document that a sizable proportion of healthcare providers in this setting in rural India exert clinical effort with patients in ways consistent with maintaining reputation in their communities.

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Subramanian, Nivedhitha (2020). Essays in Empirical Development Economics. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21005.

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