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Essays in Development and Behavioral Economics

Han, Yi (2020) Essays in Development and Behavioral Economics. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Along with the reduction in transportation costs in the last two centuries, institutional trade barriers have become increasingly important obstacles to further market integration. In Chapter 1, I examine the impact of a policy reform in China that removed inter-regional administrative trade barriers by incorporating counties into prefectures with a larger market. Using a difference-in-differences approach, I compare incorporated counties, both before and after the reform, to two novel control groups: counties that applied for incorporation but failed and counties that were incorporated several years later. I find that the reform immediately and persistently increased the economic growth of incorporated counties. Several sources of evidence suggest that treated counties experienced relatively rapid growth because they became more integrated into the domestic market. In Chapter 2, using data from the one-child policy in China (OCP), Yiming Liu and I provide first field evidence for responsibility-shifting through delegation. We compare the impact of the OCP on parents who experienced it during Phase I when local governments were the enforcer, versus Phase II when the enforcement was delegated to civilians by incentivizing them to report neighbors’ violations. We find, consistent with responsibility-shifting, exposure to the OCP in Phase I reduces people's trust in local governments, but exposure to it in Phase II only reduces people's trust in neighbors, not their trust in local governments. In chapter 3, George Loewenstein, Yiming Liu and I designed an online experiment to investigate correspondence bias - when drawing inferences about a person's enduring characteristics from her actions, people tend to overly emphasize the role of the person's enduring characteristics and underestimate the influence of transient situational factors. We build a simple model to formalize this bias and test the predictions of the model. We find evidence of the existence of correspondence bias. Moreover, we show experiencing the games by oneself instead of observing it reduces the bias, and providing counterfactual information on how the benign-game (malign-game) player behaves in the malign-game (benign-game) eliminates it.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Han, Yiyih46@pitt.eduyih46
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBerkowitz,
Committee MemberRawski,
Committee MemberShamdasani,
Committee MemberCook,
Committee MemberLoewenstein,
Date: 8 June 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 April 2020
Approval Date: 8 June 2020
Submission Date: 7 April 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 153
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Market integration, Local protectionism, Delegation, Responsibility-shifting, Correspondence bias
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2020 16:22
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 16:22


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