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Essays in Applied Microeconomics


Each chapter of this dissertation addresses a distinct question. In Chapter 1, I investigate the determinants of socioeconomic differences in tubal ligation rates. To do this, I use a restricted-access version of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) to estimate the effects of state-level Medicaid abortion funding restrictions on tubal ligation rates. I find that these policies widen the gap between high school graduates and nongraduates by more than 42% and widen the gap between white and nonwhite women by more than 33%. In Chapter 2, I use data from India's National Family Health Surveys (NFHS) and variation in bargaining power generated by the 2001 Amendment to the Indian Divorce Act (IDA) to estimate the effects of wives' bargaining power on fertility. I find that an increase in bargaining power of one-fifth of a standard deviation reduces the birthrate in the year prior to the survey by 26%-40%. Chapter 3 estimates the effects of large private gifts on donations from other sources to a public research university and finds large crowd-in effects.

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