Date of Award

8-22-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Sally Wallace - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Yongsheng Xu

Third Advisor

Dr. David L. Sjoquist

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Dillon Alleyne

Abstract

This dissertation comprises three essays in public finance. The first essay is a research of a theory of trading of club goods and its application to jurisdiction. The essay establishes a model of trading of club goods among clubs, and illustrates its effects on the process and outcome of club formation. Cost function as well as disutility of crowdedness is emphasized and integrated into the process of club formation, after allowing for exchanging club good among clubs. In the process, the essay develops a market for club goods. Then the model is revised and applied to the formation of jurisdictions. The second essay comes out of an interest regarding household demand, poverty and public goods in developing countries. The essay explores household food consumption in Jamaica and estimates the effects of related variables. With Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions 2001 data, the essay estimates an Engel curve which reflects the relation between household food consumption and related variables. What’s more, to investigate the possible neighborhood effect on food consumption, the essay tests and estimates the spatial correlation among neighborhood food consumption. The estimated results can be applied to poverty reduction policy. The third essay extends the theme of poverty, consumption, and government programs by analyzing one other public program—education. Education is closely linked to poverty alleviation. Determining the demand for education and the return to education will help government focus programs aimed at reducing drop-out rates and in the long run, poverty in the country. The essay applies discrete time survival analysis techniques to analyze education duration in Jamaica. Based on Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions 2002, the essay estimates the effects of household, individual and other related covariates on dropout risks of students. The essay compares discrete time Cox model and discrete time logit model and concludes that the two estimations are consistent. The estimation results could be used to predict the effects of changes in the covariates, or be used to predict the dropout risks of particular students in each grade, both of which could provide useful policy implications to improve education in Jamaica.

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Economics Commons

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