Essays on Human Capital Development

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Essays on Human Capital Development

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This dissertation consists of three independent essays in the topics of human capital development. The first essay estimates the causal impact of parental preferences on parental inputs and child cognitive outcomes measured at age 3 using direct measures of parental preferences for the sex of their first-born child. This study finds that parents' preferences for the sex of their child have a statistically signicant effect on parental inputs. Girls born to parents who favor girls have a 0.5 standard deviation higher receptive language score than girls born to parents with a preference for sons. In the second essay, I examine effect of single-sex schooling on student outcomes using recent panel data from Seoul, South Korea. I estimate the effect of single-sex education using a matched sample differences-in-difference estimator. This is the first study that uses within-student variation in the academic achievement to identify causal effect of SS school. The evidence suggest that it is the academically-focused environment and less distraction in SS schools that leads to the positive outcome for girls and partially for boys. Third essay is the impact evaluation of Ramsey county's Family Truancy Intervention Program, which has been implemented over 20 years. We use 10 years of linked administrative data from multiple state and local agencies from Minnesota, and construct a counterfactual group of students from schools that did not implement truancy court-diversion. We use difference-in-differences methods to test whether parent education and attendance contracts improved attendance relative to direct referral to child protection services or court. We failed to reject the null hypothesis of no program effect. Most truancy program evaluations use a pre- and post-mean comparison, but our analysis suggested that the magnitude of the bias in such studies is substantial because absenteeism showed a pattern of regression to the mean.



University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. September 2020. Major: Applied Economics. Advisors: Paul Glewwe, Elizabeth Davis. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 129 pages.

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Lee, Won Fy. (2020). Essays on Human Capital Development. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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