This dissertation presents results from research on three development economics issues. In Chapter 1, I study the impacts of fuel subsidy reforms on the spatial dispersion of grain prices using a "natural experiment'' from Ethiopia---which removed fuel subsidies in 2008---and a highly disaggregated monthly grain price data from about 300 locations. I find that the removal of fuel subsidy substantially increased grain price dispersion and remote areas are particularly highly affected. Change in grain price dispersion resulting from high transportation cost is a key channel through which the removal of fuel subsidy could influence welfare. Farm households in remote districts have experienced welfare losses due to dampening of grain prices in their areas.
In Chapter 2, I present evidence from a randomized control trial on the impact of in-service teacher training and books, both as separate educational inputs and as a package. I test whether there is complementarity between these education inputs. The results suggest that the provision of books, in addition to teacher training, raises student achievement substantially. However, teacher training and books weakly improve test scores when provided individually. The evidence suggests that it is pertinent to supplement teacher training schemes with appropriate teaching materials in resource-poor settings.
In Chapter 3, I study the rural non-farm economy (RNFE) in Uganda and Ethiopia to understand the gender gap in access to and return from RNFE using panel household surveys. I find that female-headed households tend to have low access to and return from RNFE.
|Fuje, Habtamu Neda
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