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Essays in Development Economics


This dissertation explores three topics in economic development. Chapter 1 develops and tests a framework for identifying the effect of changes in individual incomes on aggregate migration. Using rich data from Indonesia and a novel two-step estimator suggested by the theory, I provide evidence that financial constraints limit international labor mobility from low-income settings. Chapter 2 uses a large-scale cash transfer program in Indonesia to demonstrate the importance of timing and expectations in evaluating fiscal interventions. Overall, the study finds consumption smoothing behavior similar to that found in evaluations of cash transfer programs in rich countries. Chapter 3 offers a constructive methodological critique of the econometric methods used to identify the causal determinants of economic growth

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