Author ORCID Identifier

0000-0002-7004-8961

Date of Award

Summer 8-11-2020

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Thomas Mroz

Second Advisor

Tim Sass

Third Advisor

Jonathan Smith

Fourth Advisor

Alberto Chong

Fifth Advisor

Naved Hamid

Abstract

This dissertation’s essays provide evidence on the impact of different interventions related to girls’ schooling and health care provision in Pakistan on women’s completed years of schooling, fertility, maternal health, and health and well being of their children.

Chapter 1 estimates the causal effect of a Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program for girls attending secondary schools in Punjab, Pakistan. We use three rounds of a cross sectional household survey to estimate the impact of exposure to the program on women’s schooling, age at marriage and first birth and maternal health care. Importantly, we also analyze inter-generational effects on health and well being of children. We find that exposure to the CCT program leads to higher years of completed education, reduces likelihood of marriage and childbirth in teenage and increases utilization of maternal health care. Further, there are beneficial inter-generational effects; mother’s exposure to the program leads to better health of children (in terms of weight and height), reduces incidence of disease and increases probability of being registered at birth.

Chapter 2 examines the impact of a primary school construction program in Pakistan. I use two rounds of a cross sectional household survey and implement a difference-in-differences approach to estimate the causal effect of school construction in district of residence on long run outcomes such as years of education and fertility. I also estimate marriage market effects and impact on incidence of domestic violence. I find that women who in their childhood resided in districts with more schools constructed per capita, under the reform, complete more years of schooling and reduce overall fertility in the long run. I find, however, little evidence of marriage market effects or of impacts on incidence of domestic violence.

Chapter 3 evaluates the impact of deploying Community Midwives (CMWs) in Pakistan. Using the timing of the program, I use a “dosage”- of-treatment approach to estimate the impact of CMWs per capita across more than 90 districts of Pakistan. I find that women residing in districts with higher CMWs per capita are more likely to give birth in the presence of a skilled birth attendant. They are also more likely to birth at a medical facility as opposed to giving birth at home. I however find no statistical impact on pre- and post-natal check ups.

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