HOW EFFECTIVE ARE PUBLIC HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAMS, UNFETTERED FARM MARKETS AND SINGLE SEX SCHOOLS?
AuthorFox, Jonathan Franklin
AdvisorFishback, Price V.
Committee ChairFishback, Price V.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMy dissertation examines the effectiveness of three policy choices in meeting socio-economic goals. The first analyzes the impact of public health education and poverty relief on child mortality in the early twentieth century, when infant and child mortality rates in the United States were startlingly high. During the 1920s, the rates dropped significantly and only part of the declines can be attributed to major sanitation and water projects in cities.Using a fixed effects identification strategy and adjusting to 2007 dollars, about $29,000 in public health education spending and about $781,000 in poverty relief spending were each associated with an infant death avoided. In comparisons with many modern programs, these costs associated with saving infant lives in the early 1920s were low. After controlling for city-specific trends in mortality, the effect of public health education programs is attenuated. This potentially suggests that with public health education, it is the stock of knowledge that is important.The second part of my dissertation examines the sensitivity of agricultural prices and output to local and non-local weather fluctuations in the United States prior to 1932, when markets were relatively open and largely unfettered by modern farm programs. The price sensitivity to these local and non-local weather fluctuations is estimated for the crops cotton and wheat, which have relatively low transport costs and are primarily exported to non-local markets, as well as for corn and hay, crops with high transport costs and used in local productive activities.For cotton and wheat, changes in local weather seem to have little effect on farm-gate prices, while changes in weather affecting the aggregate market play an important role. Corn and hay prices are much more sensitive to changes in state-level temperature, precipitation, and drought conditions.The third study examines the returns to education for women who attended a college with a predominantly female population. Using the program evaluation framework and matching techniques, I find that attending a female-dominated school yields positive labor market effects on the order of about 15 percent upon first entry into the labor market but that these effects seem to diminish over time.