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Social protection and human capital accumulation in developing countries

Sulaiman, Munshi (2012) Social protection and human capital accumulation in developing countries. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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My thesis comprises of three stand‐alone papers, which are connected by the theme of social protection and human capital accumulation. In the first paper, using experimental data from South Sudan, I focus on evaluating the effects of food transfer on household labour supply decisions and crowding‐out of informal private transfers. I do not observe significant impact on either of these two domains, except reduction in child labour. This effect corresponds with increased school enrolment of children. I find that positive income shocks from short‐term food transfers induced the households to invest in durable goods, and child ‘non‐work’ is a luxury good for the ultra‐poor. The second paper evaluates the effects of a policy related to exam standard on labour market performance of secondary school graduates in Bangladesh. Using a natural experiment, the paper shows that lowering standard reduced labour market returns for the graduates. General equilibrium effects of increased supply of graduates and lower human capital accumulation due to lower standard have been identified as possible mechanisms underlying this labour market effect. In my third paper, I evaluate the effects of an asset transfer programme for the ultra‐poor in Bangladesh on children’s enrolment. I find that despite exceptionally large positive impact on household income, asset transfer did not increase enrolment rates. Moreover, there was increased demand for child labour in these households. The evidence suggests that asset transfer may not be sufficient to increase school enrolment among households in extreme poverty and may have unintended effects on child labor.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Munshi Sulaiman
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > International Development
Supervisor: Bandiera, Oriana

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