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Title: Essays on Public Policies and Socioeconomic Disparities
Author: Olivieri Agazzi, María Cecilia
Director/Tutor: Fageda, Xavier, 1975-
Keywords: Política governamental
Desenvolupament econòmic
Infraestructures (Transport)
Government policy
Economic development
Transportation buildings
Issue Date: 15-Oct-2019
Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract: [eng] The dissertation addresses the analysis of inequality in various aspects of the economy and aims to contribute to the evaluation of public policies, as well as to the identification of possible effects derived from alternative public interventions. In particular, the main goal of this research has been to better understand the economic impact of public policies (or of the absence of them) in terms of transport infrastructure and gender differences that stem from personal income taxation and urban mobility. In Chapter 2, spatial econometric techniques have been used to analyze both, the absolute and conditional β-convergence-type processes. Furthermore, an analysis on whether transport investment has been guided by efficiency, redistribution and/or equity concerns was conducted to explain the role of transportation on such regional convergence. Withdrawing of data from 1980 to 2008, strong evidence of absolute convergence occurring across Spanish provinces has been found. This result also holds when considering conditional convergence, as well as the explicit role of transport infrastructure. However, only roads seem to have contributed to the process of regional convergence in Spain. In contrast, the other types of transport infrastructure have not played an important role in this process. It was also found that the main destination of investment has been to equalize the infrastructure endowment between the different Spanish regions. The reduction in inequality between regions, in terms of roads endowment, could explain its positive contribution to the regional convergence in Spain. In Chapter 3, zero-one inflated beta models have been applied to analyze the gendered effects of the Personal Income Tax (PIT) in Uruguay, using microdata provided by the 2013 Household Survey. The analysis of the legislation has indicated no explicit gender differences in the PIT code, which indicates women and men are treated on an equal basis regarding rates, credits and deductions: a flat tax rate for capital income and two different progressive schedules for pensions and labor income. Despite that, a joint filing system is allowed for couple’s incomes. On the base of tax records, an estimate of only 5.4% of couples (with at least one of them being an income earner) have used the joint filing option in 2013. The cause cannot be assessed, but a possible explanation may be the lack of information. However, there are probably other explanations that could be the scope of future research. It has also been found in the study that when assessing household per capita income, households supported by a working man who lives with a dependent housewife face the highest tax burden, followed by the dual-earner type. When evaluating different potential explanatory factors, a gap remained. These findings indicate that there has been an incentive towards equal gender time allocation within the family, which is consistent with gender equity. On the one hand, PIT has not been discouraging labor market participation of a second earner due to the fact that it is not taxed at higher rates. On the other hand, given that male breadwinner households may have been reaching higher levels of welfare from non-taxed home production, the result is potentially consistent with neutrality in terms of allocation between household and market time. As well, single mothers’ households bear a lower burden than dual earner households when considering both, raw data and income-controlled gaps. Once again, this pattern is consistent with gender equity. However, this pattern is partly explained by non-desirable aspects: higher levels of informality and participation in non-taxable sources of income among single female households than in dual earner households. The analysis also provides a comparison between male and female breadwinner households, and single female and male households. In both comparisons it has been found that the male types bear a higher PIT burden than the female types, which is partly explained by the higher share of non-taxable income among female types. Finally, no differences were found between female and male categories of three typical types of non-employed households. Finally, in Chapter 4, a multilevel econometric approach has been applied to examine the determinants of commuting patterns in the Metropolitan Area of Montevideo (MAM), addressing the household responsibility hypothesis. The data was stratified in two levels: individual and zone of residence (census tract). It has been found that all dimensions of travel behavior (trip time, trip distance, trip count and transportation mode choice) are influenced by both, individual and contextual characteristics. With concerns to the personal attributes, results suggest the existence of differences in commuting patterns between male and female residents in the MAM. On average, women travel smaller distances with a lower frequency of trips. Travel time does not differ significantly, but it is based in the use of slower means of transport, shown by the smaller use of cars. In relation to the zone of residence, residing in the most densely populated zones, with greater public transport accessibility and land-use diversity is associated with traveling lower distances and less time. It is also associated with a greater frequency of trips, though the impact is very small. In contrast, individual’s mode choice is less influenced by the attributes of the zone of residence and more associated to socioeconomic level. The analysis also provides evidence of the importance of family structure to explain the gender differences in commuting patterns. In particular, the interaction between the presence of children and the presence of spouse/partner in the household appeared to be key factors to explain those differences, proving the household responsibility hypothesis. Women in all types of households with children tend to have smaller commute time than their counterpart in households without children. In the case of women in female breadwinner households, the shorter commute is measured both in terms of time and distance. Also, the presence of children increases the frequency of trips for women belonging to all household categories. The probability of travelling by car increases with the presence of children in all households and genders. Meanwhile, men exhibit higher travel distance in male breadwinner households with children and higher frequency of trips in the dual earner with children type.
Appears in Collections:Tesis Doctorals - Facultat - Economia i Empresa

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