Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Thomas A. Mroz

Second Advisor

James H. Marton

Third Advisor

Charles J. Courtemanche

Fourth Advisor

Angela Snyder

Abstract

Improvement in health, education, and reducing child labor are a widely accepted public policy in the developed as well as developing countries. This dissertation consists three essays that examines the impact of health and education policy in Indonesia. The first essay examines the impact of the existence of limited resource hospitals on medical care utilization and household health expenditures. Limited physical access to facility health care is a primary concern that contributes to high health risks and inadequate medical care in developing countries, primarily in poor areas. The Indonesian government built limited-resource hospitals in poor areas. Difference-in-differences and matching-difference-in-differences methodologies were used in exploiting timing implementations of mobile hospital establishments. To do so, I scrape and utilize variables about hospital location and travel distance from many different sources. I find the existence of public hospitals more likely increases outpatient and inpatient in public hospitals, as well as household health expenditures. Also, I find only areas in which new hospitals are located closer than existing hospitals or more transportation alternatives benefit from the intervention. These results suggest that not only broadly expanding facility health centers but also improving infrastructures in poor areas are critical for improving access to health care.

The second essay investigates how dependent coverage changes for civil servants' children impacts medical care utilization for Indonesia universal health insurance (BPJS) scheme in 2014. I use a difference-in-differences and triple difference-in-differences methodologies with the third children as a treatment group, and both the first two children and the fourth and afterward children as a control group, by exploiting timing implementation of policy changes in civil servant dependent coverage insurance policy. I employ representative data from Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS). I find coverage expansion more likely increases outpatient medical care utilization in public hospitals for eligible children. Also, I separate the impacts of eligibility status and reduction of copayment. Our results are robust to many specifications. These findings suggest that broadly expanding public insurance dependent coverage is beneficial for insurance holders.

The last essay the impacts of compulsory education and free tuition programs in Indonesia on child labor and health outcomes for children. I use difference-in-differences and matching difference-in-differences approaches with 13- to 15-year-old junior high school students as a treatment group and 16- to 18-year-old senior high schoolers as a control group by exploiting timing implementations of compulsory education and free tuition programs. I employ large representative data from Indonesian Household Surveys (SUSENAS). I find compulsory education and free tuition programs significantly reduce the probability of child labor and illness symptoms. The results support the notion that free tuition eases household budget constraints to keep children in school and prohibit them from working, thus leading to children becoming healthier. Our results are robust to many specifications. These findings suggest that broadly expanding compulsory education supported by free tuition programs to higher levels of education would benefit society in general.

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