Essays in Development Economics

Doctoral Dissertation


The main theme of research on development and economic growth is to explain why some countries are richer than others, and potentially determine the possible ways to bring living standards in poor countries closer to those in the wealthier ones. One stylized fact in development economics is that a large share of the labor force in developing countries is concentrated in agriculture even though their agricultural productivity is much lower than their non-agricultural productivity. Thus, increasing agricultural productivity and shifting labor out of agriculture into a more productive sector are crucial for economic development. The three chapters of this dissertation explore the conditions and policies that facilitate these two strategies. The first chapter examines the impact of land rights on the adoption of agricultural technology. Adopting improved seed varieties has substantially ensured food security and helped farmers transition out of poverty. However, the level of adoption is still quite low in many developing countries. Therefore, it is important to understand how well-defined land rights can help encourage farmers to adopt this technology. The second chapter investigates the effect of land titling on employment migration and education migration of rural households as land market frictions can hinder labor mobility in developing countries. It also explores the heterogeneous effects across wealth distribution, types of migration, age, and gender, and sheds light on the channels through which improved land rights can affect household migration decisions. The last chapter studies the role of international trade on labor reallocation to explain industrialization patterns in recently developed and developing countries. My hypothesis is that it is easier for the late developers to trade, thus countries that do not have comparative advantage in manufacturing tend to be less focused on growing the manufacturing sector and lean more towards importing the manufacturing goods they need.


Attribute NameValues
Author Linh Nguyen
Contributor Kevin Donovan, Committee Member
Contributor Lakshmi Iyer, Committee Member
Contributor A. Nilesh Fernando, Committee Member
Contributor Joseph P. Kaboski, Research Director
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Economics
Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy
Banner Code

Defense Date
  • 2020-03-20

Submission Date 2020-04-24
  • development

  • agriculture

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units
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