Essays in development economics and entrepreneurship
La Mattina, Giulia
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This dissertation consists of three chapters that study issues in Development Economics and Entrepreneurship. The first two chapters study the long-term consequences of civil conflict in developing countries using data from Rwanda; the third chapter examines determinants of science and non-science entrepreneurship for immigrants and natives in the United States. Chapter 1 investigates the impact of the 1994 Rwandan genocide on the probability that women become victims of intimate partner violence using detailed data on conflict intensity combined with a household survey collected after the genocide. Genocide intensity in the area of residence is associated with a higher probability of becoming victim of domestic violence for women who married after the genocide, but not for women who married before. Using census data collected before and after the conflict, I show that changes in local marriage market conditions likely caused by the genocide were a significant factor that contributed to increase domestic violence and reduce decision-making power for women who married after the genocide. Chapter 2 analyzes the long-term effect of the Rwandan genocide on education. Previous work showed that the genocide significantly decreased schooling for children who were in early childhood or in school during the genocide. I follow these children over time using recent data and I find that they eventually catch up to their peers. I also study the effect of the genocide on schooling for children born after the genocide. I observe a large, negative effect on educational achievement for children who are born up to five years after the end of the conflict. I explore potential mechanisms for this finding and I show that changes in marriage market conditions did not contribute to decrease educational attainment for children born after the genocide. In chapter 3, I use data from a large survey of scientists and highly educated individuals to show that conditional on standard factors, immigrants are significantly more likely to become entrepreneurs even after controlling for their relative position on the ability spectrum (measured by wage residuals). I find significant differences in the role of ability in science and non-science entrepreneurship for all individuals.