Ulrik Richardt Beck

Ph.d.-forsvar: Ulrik Richardt Beck: "Essays in Development Economics: Inequality Measurement and Household Factor Allocations"

The dissertation consists of four self-contained chapters.

The first chapter investigates how two effects can drive wedges between real and nominal inequality estimates. The effects are caused by 1) differences in the composition of consumption coupled with differential inflation in different products and 2) quantity discounting. I estimate these effects using 15 surveys from six countries covering the period 1999-2011. The estimated effects are both country- and year-specific.

The second chapter introduces a test of whether social ties help or hinder efficiency-enhancing factor transfers. We test this model on network data from The Gambia. Once we control for the presence of large landowners who transact outside social network boundaries, we find more efficiency-enhancing land transfers between kin-related households and between neighbors.

The third chapter studies whether land transactions in rural villages in The Gambia are consistent with the presence of norm-based land access rules. Our answer is affirmative, as we find that land transactions are pro-poor on average. This finding is stronger in less densely populated and less ethnically diverse villages where social norms are thought to be more important.

The fourth chapter investigates responses among smallholder coffee farmers in Vietnam to fluctuations in the coffee price. We find that adults and adolescents household increase their off-farm wage labor supply when prices are low. We also find that children and adolescents increase their supply of on-farm labor. These findings are potentially worrying for human capital formation of children and adolescents.