Antipoverty programs : impact evaluation, externalities and limitations
2013-11-08, Pacheco Barzallo, Diana, Grether, Jean-marie
This doctoral thesis utilizes diﬀerent microeconometric methods to estimate the direct impact, the generated externalities, and the limitations of two antipoverty programs implemented in Latin America in the form of Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT). I focus on CCT programs for two reasons. First, due to the important positive eﬀects shown, many governments have rapidly adopted this tool as their main initiative to fight poverty. And second, CCTs are one of the very few initiatives that were actually generated in the developing world and later imported in developed economies. The thesis is comprised of three separate, but closely related chapters. I perform empirical analyses using data from two programs in Mexico and Colombia, employing program evaluation techniques, as well as parametric regression modelling. The main contribution of this thesis is to show that social interventions, besides having important eﬀects on the targeted population, have also a great impact on people not part of the program. In fact, individuals respond to incentives, pushing a change in their decisions, either through monetary transfers, or by a change in the observed behavior of their peers. Thus, CCT programs can be expected to have an eﬀect beyond the targeted group. The externalities shown by CCT are mainly positive, specially when analyzing health, nutrition and educational outcomes. The results are less clear when analyzing labor outcomes. Nevertheless, as any policy, these programs are perfectible. It is important to identify these limitations, as well as the changes to the designs for future work.
Move it! How an electric contest motivates households to shift their load profile
2017-10, Weber, Sylvain, Puddu, Stefano, Pacheco Barzallo, Diana
Photovoltaic systems generate electricity around noon, when many homes are empty. Conversely, residential electricity demand peaks in the evening, when production from solar sources is impossible. Based on a randomized control trial, we assess the effectiveness of alternative demand response measures aimed at mitigating these imbalances. More precisely, through information feedback and financial rewards, we encourage households to shift electricity consumption toward the middle of the day. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that financial incentives induce a significant increase of the relative consumption during the period of the day when most solar radiation takes place. Information feedback, however, pushes households to decrease overall consumption, but induces no load shifting.