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Economics of social, gender, and income inequalities

Roy, Sutanuka (2018) Economics of social, gender, and income inequalities. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.yq25yqm0suo0


The thesis contains three chapters. The first chapter reports on the first large-scale randomized field experiment involving legally-recognized minorities to examine the causal effects of providing performance-based financial incentives based on social or income disadvantage on high stakes university test scores. The results are that the average test scores of the whole cohort goes down by .14 standard deviations when financial incentives were provided by income disadvantage while there is no effect on the test scores when financial incentives were provided by social disadvantage or when financial incentives were provided to all students. The chapter provides evidence of academic non-cooperation when financial incentives are offered by income status and no evidence of such peer effects when prize incentives are given by social disadvantage. The second chapter, which is a joint work with Dr. H.F.Tam, studies the impact of matrimonial laws introduced by the British in British provinces in colonial India during 1800s and early 1900s. Exploiting quasi-random variations of districts that were former British Provinces within each post-independent Indian states, we find that females have 5% lower chances of marrying under the current legal age, and 1.6% higher chance of attending school at 10-16 years old in regions that were formerly British Provinces. Furthermore, using historical Census of India 1901-1931 on marriage status of population between 0-15 years at district level, the chapter estimates the impact of Child Marriage abolition Act (1931) on child marriages in colonial India. The third chapter uses a large-scale novel panel dataset (2005-14) on schools from the Indian state of Assam to test for the impact of violent conflict on female student’s enrolment ratios. We find that a doubling of average killings in a districtyear leads to a 13 per cent drop in girl’s enrolment rate with school fixed effects.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Sutanuka Roy
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Departments > Economics
Supervisor: Besley, Timothy

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