Three essays in Empirical Public Economics

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In this dissertation, I study the role of policies and institutions to foster social inclusion. In particular, in two of my projects, I use the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) dataset to analyze the impact of institutions and policies on individuals' decisions. In the fi rst Chapter, I exploit the historical context and study how the Soviet regime changed women's choices within the Soviet sphere regarding educational attainment, labor participation, marriage and fertility. In the second chapter, I consider the role of employment status and the probability to provide informal care to elders in Europe. Finally, in the third part of my doctoral dissertation, I study the role of self-regulation to mitigate the ethnic discrimination on the largest hospitality platform, Airbnb. The firt rst Chapter, "USSR, Education, Work History, Fertility Choices, and Later-Life Outcomes" (with Telmo P erez-Izquierdo), investigates the diference in the impact of the Soviet regime on life decisions within the Soviet sphere. We use the retrospective SHARELIFE data to analyze the educational, labor, marriage, and fertility decisions of East Europeans from 1950 to 1990. The main identi cation strategy is a natural experiment in which we compare former provinces of the Russian Empire in Lithuania and Poland that were exposed to different forms of communism after WWII. For 40 years, Lithuania was a part of the USSR, whereas Poland was a part of the Eastern Bloc. We find that during communism, Lithuanian women worked two years more by age 50 relative to Polish women. This effect is half of the one found for the East-West Germany comparison. Moreover, we observe that women's educational attainment increased more than men's. We propose a potential mechanism behind this fact: an indirect channel of improved work opportunities on female education. Accordingly, this paper's fi ndings highlight the different impacts of the Soviet regime within communist countries. The second Chapter, "Impact of Employment on Informal Caregiving to the Elderly Mothers in Europe", studies the trade-off faced by adult individuals in Europe between participating in the labor market and providing informal care to their elderly mothers. Using the SHARE data, I develop a bivariate simultaneous choice model of work and informal care. To correct for the endogeneity of employment status in care decision, I exploit the heterogeneous impact of the Great Recession on European countries as an exclusion restriction in a non-linear setting. When individuals between 50 and below statutory retirement age participate in the labor market, the probability of providing informal care to elder mothers decreases by about nine percentage points. This nding documents the negative causal relationship between employment and the provision of informal care in Europe. The third Chapter, "Online Discrimination and (Self ) Regulation: Evaluating the Airbnb's Nondiscrimination Policy" (with Michelangelo Rossi), is motivated by the following fact digital platforms have changed the ways of doing business in many markets. Still, some characteristics of the transactions occurring online remain unaltered relative to the traditional off-line settings: discrimination of minorities is one of them. Without clear legislative frameworks, in recent years platforms tried to reduce these issues with self-regulations. In this paper, we study the Airbnb's Nondiscrimination policy implemented at the end of 2016. The share of hosts who cannot reject - and potentially discriminate - guests more than doubled after two years from the policy. Accordingly, the number of guests with non-white names on the platform slightly increased. Yet, the proportion of guests with non-white names accepted by hosts who can discriminate guests did not signi cantly change after the policy.
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