Essays on Development Economics

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Essays on Development Economics

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Title: Essays on Development Economics
Author: Islam, Mahnaz
Citation: Islam, Mahnaz. 2015. Essays on Development Economics. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
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Abstract: This dissertation studies agricultural technology adoption, child labor and development. Although adoption of fertilizers has been high in South Asia, farmers may fail to use it efficiently. Besides higher costs incurred by households engaged in agriculture, inefficient use of fertilizers may also have negative consequences for the environment. The first chapter of this dissertation uses a field experiment in Bangladesh to study whether providing farmers access to a simple rule-of-thumb tool (leaf color chart) to manage the timing of fertilizer applications can improve efficiency of fertilizer use and lead to productivity gains. The second chapter explores whether characteristics of agricultural trainers, who introduced the leaf color charts to the farmers in the treatment group, play an important role in the adoption and use of leaf color charts by farmers. The final chapter of this dissertation studies the impact of a large public workfare program targeting rural households in India on children. In particular, we study the impact of time use by the youngest and oldest children in a household as adult time use changes in response to new work opportunities.
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