- ItemOpen AccessThree essays on public policies in Indonesia(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Tampubolon, Devanand Pandapotan, author; Pena, Anita Alves, advisor; Braunstein, Elissa, committee member; Cutler, Harvey, committee member; Seidl, Andrew, committee memberThis dissertation studies tax burden, tax compliance, and cooking fuel choice and energy policy in Indonesia. The three papers observe the impact of recent public policy changes in taxation and cooking fuel. The first paper comprehensively analyzes the burden of Value-Added Tax (VAT), focusing on current exemptions. This paper uses expenditure as the proxy of income or welfare to examine the VAT burden. This paper finds that the effective VAT rate is 4.51 percent nationally and weakly progressive. The effective VAT rate is relatively similar to other developing countries, but only half of the developed countries. The VAT burden is lower and more progressive in rural areas than in urban areas. The tax burden on food consumption is lower and regressive, while higher and progressive for nonfood consumption. While households in non-Java islands spend more than households in Java, this paper finds that the effective tax rate in non-Java is less than in Java. The first paper also simulates the impact of the VAT reform implemented in April 2022. The result shows that if the exempted items are maintained (by only changing nontaxable to taxable but still excused from VAT) and the tax rate increase from 10 percent to 11 percent, the tax burden will increase proportionally to all expenditure deciles by 10 percent. However, the calculations suggest that if all exemptions are excluded, the tax burden will be double that of the previous tax regime and the poorest households will get hit more than the richest. The second paper studies the impact of the high VAT threshold introduced in 2014 on small firms' reported revenues. The threshold is set to help both the tax authorities and small businesses. However, the existence of a threshold will be counterproductive in its strength of providing transaction information. Due to a lack of trading information, the tax authority will have more difficulties assessing the tax obligation owed by the taxpayers. This paper utilizes quasi-natural experiments and Difference-in Difference regression to explore the treatment effect. The treatment group is wholesale firms, and the control group is retail firms. This paper finds that wholesale reports lower revenues by 58-70 percent for four years than those in the retail sectors. This paper also finds that the decrease in reported revenues is larger than the reported costs. This may lead us to conclude that the lower reported revenues are due to underreporting revenues. The third paper studies the determinants of cooking fuel choices and energy policy in Indonesia amid the zero kerosene program. This study finds that government policy is important for the transition to clean energy. One percent increase in the distribution of LPG Kits increases the probability of clean energy usage by 2%. The impact is almost double in urban areas compared to rural areas. All socioeconomic and demographic factors significantly influence the household choice of cooking fuel. Households with higher income and wealth, better house infrastructure, formal education, electric network, and mobile phone are more likely to be clean energy users. On the other hand, working women, household heads working in agriculture, and bigger household sizes are identic to unclean energy. The age and gender of the head have different effects on urban and rural households. In line with the findings of previous studies, household income is still the main determinant of clean energy. One percent increase in income will impact the probability of clean energy by 10 to 13 percentage points. With steady GDP growth of around 5-6% yearly, Indonesia has a good path to transition to clean energy. The three essays complement each other to strengthen Indonesia's economic development. Taxation is essential for adequate and sustainable public funding and clean energy is for better living and productivity. Chapter One provides insight into estimates of the VAT burden in society. This will help the government to improve VAT revenue with a less negative impact on society, especially for low-income people. Chapter Two provides insight for government to improve the utilization of information from the VAT system and tax compliance. Adequate and sustainable self-funding through taxation will enable the government to provide sustainable clean cooking fuel, which may help society become healthier and more productive. Chapter Three has the implication that tax policy can be used to promote clean cooking fuel. The current VAT exemption on households that use electric power up to 6600 VA should be maintained to encourage low-income families to use clean cooking fuel.
- ItemOpen AccessThree essays in regional economics: migration, regional portfolio theory, resilience, and agglomeration economies(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Care, Jonathan Charles, author; Weiler, Stephan, advisor; Braunstein, Elissa, committee member; Alves Pena, Anita, committee member; Thilmany, Dawn, committee memberCities and counties are dynamic entities that experience constant change, generated from both local and external forces. Some locations are rich in natural amenities, others are powerhouses of manufacturing or provide a rich level of services and quality of life to their citizens. Each location maintains a unique set of characteristics that makes it appealing to a given slice of the population and set of business enterprises. Understanding these characteristics and patterns of migration is a substantial focus in the field of regional economics. Researchers attempt to enhance our understanding by examining this phenomenon through a number of different lenses. Some have examined flows to the largest cities in the country and tried to uncover the underlying reasons for the unique advantages these metropolitan areas possess. Others have examined various measures of risk and reward to see which cities or counties outshine their competitors. Still others attempt to measure the appeal of regions by quantifying their natural amenities or investigating their resilience to negative economic events. Recent global events have brought understanding a number of these regional performance topics to the forefront of both academic and mainstream interest. This dissertation examines several aspects of regional economics with an aim to move the conversation forward along several tracks. The first chapter explores the contribution of regional employment portfolio risk and return measures in a case study of county level migration into Colorado. The level of employment data used in the construction of the employment portfolio measures is varied to see which level of aggregation best contributes to the understanding of migration flows. The results show that the employment portfolio composition of a county does play a role in attracting migrants and highlight interesting findings on economy-wide risk versus individual potential returns. Additionally, we find evidence of labor pooling and agglomeration effects for Colorado's largest counties. A lack of cohesion and consistency across sector-level measures of risk and return suggests that local governments should focus on creating a stable overall business environment, rather than attempting to focus on specific sectors. The second chapter discusses the concept of economic resilience and how it complements discussions relating to regional economic growth. A total of seven models are tested, split between two different formulations of measuring resilience. Testing is performed to identify a set of independent variables that robustly contribute as explanatory determinants of resilience. The results identify several determinants of resilience that are robust across different definitions of economic resilience and provide insights that can be used by local policy makers when considering the tradeoffs between balancing growth and resilience. The chapter ends with a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of existing measures of resilience and the advantages of future work in this area. The final chapter of the dissertation examines the dual, decades-long decline in both migration rates and the level of economic dynamism within the United States. Specifically, the role of information generated by the churn of resources through the economy is explored within the context of county and metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in-migration rates. The difference in average annual in-migration rates is also examined using a three-fold Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. This study finds that locally generated information on dynamism does contribute to the decision of whether to migrate. In particular, the findings show a unique role for information gained from regional dynamism when considering migration to smaller metropolitan areas, likely resulting from the more homogeneous identity these regions maintain, in comparison to larger, more multi-faceted, metropolitan areas. The overarching goal of this work is to contribute to the literature on why individuals choose to live where they do. The topics examined over the course of this dissertation permeate several veins of the regional economic literature. However, they all work together in the service of the question "what makes a place attractive to in-migrants?" This is accomplished by looking at the risks and returns to regional employment portfolios, the degree to and speed with which regions rebound from recessions, and how information generated by the churn of resources through the economy helps in the decision to migrate. These topics represent three of the drivers among the broad portfolio of factors regional economics utilizes to try and understand behavior within a country.
- ItemOpen AccessInstitutions and structural transformations in the North American economy(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Walke, Adam Gregory, author; Weiler, Stephan, advisor; Vasudevan, Ramaa, advisor; Fremstad, Anders, committee member; Mumme, Stephen, committee memberIt is often asserted that secure property rights and legal frameworks conducive to the functioning of markets are essential institutional foundations of a capitalist economy. It is sometimes even claimed that they are preconditions of economic growth. Efforts to implement those institutions have, however, produced heterogeneous outcomes for different groups of people. This dissertation considers the effects of two waves of institutional change in North America: the nineteenth-century privatization and subsequent alienation of communal property in the United States and Mexico and the late-twentieth-century neoliberal reforms in Mexico. Both episodes contributed to profound structural transformations in the North American economy. In the process of shaping important aspects of the present capitalist economies of Mexico and the United States, the above-mentioned institutional changes resulted in land loss, dispossession, the destruction of traditional livelihoods and, for many people, insertion into labor markets on the lowest rungs, with reduced autonomy, and with little or no job security. The dissertation examines three cases of communal property privatization. First, it considers the effect of the 1887 Dawes General Allotment Act on American Indian migration using data from the 1930 U.S. Census. The results suggest that individuals who were likely to have lost land due to allotment had a higher propensity to migrate to cities and to other states. Second, historical literature is reviewed to understand how the privatization of communal property under Mexico's 1856 Lerdo Law exacerbated land loss and inequality. That episode inspired subsequent efforts to reverse the effects of privatization through the creation of a new form of communal property known as ejidos during and after the Mexican Revolution. Third, the consequences of 1992 constitutional reforms allowing the privatization of ejidos are considered. The main finding is that municipalities with larger relative declines in ejido and agrarian community membership (as a percentage of population) and more land sales to non-ejido-members experienced larger increases in income inequality. Mexico's 1992 ejido reforms were part of a broader set of neoliberal reforms aimed at seamlessly integrating the country into the North American and global economies. Trade and investment regulations were liberalized, which contributed to the spread of cross-border production sharing or "offshoring" arrangements in the manufacturing sector. The last section of the dissertation considers the effects of those arrangements on employment volatility. The main finding is that reliance on offshoring-related revenues generally had a large, positive impact on manufacturing-sector employment volatility in Mexico over the 2007 to 2020 period. In contrast, trade that was not related to offshoring had, at most, a weak impact on volatility. The main policy implication is that attracting jobs in the labor-intensive stages of transnational manufacturing production processes may entail the risk of increasing employment volatility.
- ItemOpen AccessThree essays on welfare, well-being, and labor(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Chin, Sayorn, author; Zahran, Sammy, advisor; Mushinski, David, advisor; Miller, Ray, committee member; Bayham, Jude, committee memberThis dissertation explores several topics in welfare, well-being, and labor economics, with a focus on: (1) health, wealth, and racial and ethnic welfare inequality; (2) the natural environment and well-being; and (3) whether labor markets place a wage premia for jobs that require workers to consume disamenities. To achieve these goals, the study utilizes three distinct datasets and applies a range of machine learning and econometric techniques, including natural language processing algorithms, as well as dynamic panel data estimators, natural experiments, and microsimulations. In Chapter 1, titled "Beyond Income: Health, Wealth, and Racial/Ethnic Welfare Gaps Among Older Americans'', we estimate racial and ethnic disparities in well-being among the older U.S. population using an expected utility framework that incorporates differences in consumption, leisure, health, mortality, and wealth. We use longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) supplemented with data from the Consumption and Activities Mail Survey (CAMS). Together, these provide a long and rich panel (1992-2016) for our analysis. Our measure broadly indicates that racial and ethnic inequality is larger than suggested by other welfare metrics such as income or consumption. We also find health, mortality, and wealth gaps are important in explaining the level of racial and ethnic welfare inequality among the older Americans in our sample, with leisure playing a comparatively minor role. Our decomposition exercises show that a majority of the estimated welfare gaps are determined by age sixty initial conditions as opposed to racial and ethnic differences in dynamic processes after age sixty. Our morbidity counterfactuals further suggest that eliminating common heath risk factors such as hypertension or diabetes in late-life only marginally closes overall welfare gaps. These simulations suggest that policies aimed at closing racial and ethnic gaps in late-life may be more successful and efficient if targeted earlier in the life-cycle. In other words, outside of direct wealth transfers, it may largely be too late to target such interventions directly at older populations. In Chapter 2, titled "The Morning Advantage: Differential Returns to Sunlight Exposure on Well-Being'', we estimate the effect of sunlight exposure on well-being by mimicking a natural experiment that utilizes the transition to daylight savings time as an external shock to the reallocation of sunlight between the morning and evening induced by differences in sunrise and sunset times across space, and time. We combine a collection of geolocated and timestamped tweets from Twitter with Natural Language Processing algorithms to create a comprehensive panel dataset of well-being (2014-2022) for the United States. Our findings show that the returns to sunlight on sentiment are stronger in the morning than in the evening. These results contribute significantly to the ongoing debate about whether to continue or abandon the practice of daylight savings. Specifically, the positive turn of sentiment in the morning highlights the underappreciated benefits to human well-being. Therefore, the potential shifting to darker mornings and brighter evenings following the proposed Sunshine Protection Act may do more harm than good. In Chapter 3, titled "The Compensation of Conscience: Evidence from the U.S. Labor Market'', we investigate compensating differentials in the U.S. labor market related to the degree of moral compromise required in different occupations. Specifically, we explore whether jobs that require workers to compromise their moral values offer higher compensation to compensate for the disamenities that contradict their moral beliefs. To conduct our analysis, we utilize data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) and supplement it with data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) job descriptor, which allows us to develop a continuous measure of moral index across occupations. This data provides a rich and extensive panel spanning from 1997 to 2017 for our analysis. Our findings, obtained through the use of two-ways fixed-effects and first-difference models, indicate that jobs that require workers to compromise their moral principles are associated with higher compensation. This suggests that there is indeed a compensating differential for engaging in disamenities that conflict with a worker's moral values. Additionally, we observed that workers with a college education receive higher pay in jobs that require moral compromise, indicating that individuals with a college degree may have more employment opportunities and greater bargaining power, influencing their compensation preferences. Furthermore, we discovered evidence supporting an asymmetric relationship between changes in the occupational moral index and total hourly compensation. This relationship appears to be responsive to the intensity of moral compromise in the job.
- ItemOpen AccessWater quality and fishery impacts(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Wilson, Michelan, author; Barbier, Edward, advisor; Pena, Anita, committee member; Tavani, Daniele, committee member; Manning, Dale, committee memberFishery production is an important source of income for many people across the world. Marine and freshwater fisheries provide jobs in local communities and is also important for trade in both developing and developed economies. Climate change and human activities pose a threat to the fish production by changing habitat quality. Changes in fish production have direct impacts on economic welfare (consumer and producer surplus) and the goal of fishery management is to improve both biological and economic fishery outcomes. This dissertation explores the relationship between fish production and various water quality indicators in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence (EGSL) and examines the economic impact of changes in water quality in fisheries. It examines the pathways through which water quality impacts fish stocks and subsequent impacts on harvest and economic welfare, and suggests policies for fishery management. Chapter one examines the impact of water quality in a marine fishery under regulated access. It particularly focuses on how hypoxia impacts welfare in a large fishery that has different degrees of hypoxia. Chapter two examines water quality in a freshwater fishery and focuses on the direct and indirect mechanisms through which nutrient pollution impacts fisheries. Finally, chapter three acts as an extension to chapter one, examining the impact of hypoxia on a marine species with an additional assumption that the impact of this water quality indicator may be different at different life stages, which may change the possible welfare impacts of variations in water quality.