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Essays in the microeconometric evaluation of public policies

Zilio, Federico (2018) Essays in the microeconometric evaluation of public policies. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Chapter 1 examines the health benefits of the Winter Fuel Payment (WFP), an unconditional but labelled cash transfer given to elderly people above the female state pension age with the stated intent of help to deal with heating costs. We exploit the eligibility age cut-off to estimate the causal effect of the WFP on self- reports of chest infection, measured hypertension and biomarkers of infection and inflammation, such as C-reactive protein and fibrinogen. We find a robust reduction in the incidence of high levels of serum fibrinogen and some evidence of reductions in other disease markers that point to health benefits. In Chapter 2, we estimate the incidence of the housing subsidy on subsidised and unsubsidised tenants. Using a reform of the housing subsidies in the UK, we inves- tigate how the exogenous cut in the subsidy affected rents. We find that rents were not significantly reduced by the subsidy cut and the incidence mostly fell on tenants. These findings suggest that the rental market was not originally segmented between subsidised and unsubsidised tenants and the fall in the demand of subsidised tenants was offset by the recent expansion of the private rental market. In Chapter 3, we revisit and offer a reassessment of the literature on the impact of UK National Minimum Wage on employment. We highlight that this literature has em- ployed difference-in-difference designs, which have significant challenges in conducting appropriate inference and very low power when inference is conducted appropriately. In addition, the literature has focused on the binary outcome of statistical rejection of the null hypothesis, without attention to the range of employment effects. In our reanalysis of the data, we find that the data are consistent with both large nega- tive and small positive impacts of the UK National Minimum Wage on employment offering little guidance to policy makers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microeconometrics, Public Policies, Winter Fuel Payment, Housing Subsidies, Minimum Wage, Difference-in Difference, Regression Discontinuity Design
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Federico Zilio
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2018 11:51
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 11:51
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/21324

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