Identification and Estimation of Latent Variables and their Effect on Social and Economic Outcomes

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dc.contributor.author EL-ATTAR VILALTA, Mayssun
dc.date.accessioned 2010-06-25T12:32:37Z
dc.date.available 2010-06-25T12:32:37Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.citation Florence, European University Institute, 2010
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1814/14187
dc.description Defense date: 11/06/2010 en
dc.description Examining Board: Professor Richard Spady, Johns Hopkins University, Supervisor Professor Luigi Guiso, EUI Professor Daniela Del Boca, Collegio Carlo Alberto, University of Turin Professor Daniele Paserman, Boston University en
dc.description.abstract Recently, there has been strong interest among economists in the impact of social and cultural factors on economic outcomes. For instance, concepts like culture, social capital or social attitudes have been used to explain several individual and group outcomes such as labor supply, health, financial development or economic growth. In this spirit, in this thesis, I explore differences in individuals’ attitudes, their determinants, and their potential to explain individual behavior. The following are some of the findings. Personal and demographic characteristics, especially education, influence attitudes towards the peace process in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (Chapter 1). Trust influences the type of child care that mothers use, and this has an effect on female labor supply. Since trust differs across European countries, it may explain differences in female labor supply (Chapter 2). Trust also influences individuals’ investment decisions; individuals with less trust tend to invest more in housing and less in financial assets (Chapter 3). Trust and attitudes towards reciprocity affect individuals’ civic engagement differently. People with more trust participate more through existing formal institutions. People with high levels of reciprocity also tend to participate more, but if their levels of trust are not so high, they may choose a more informal (less traditional) way of doing it (Chapter 4). Good measurement of the latent variables (like trust or attitudes towards reconciliation and concessions) is crucial for understanding the effects of individual unobservable traits such as attitudes on observable outcomes, or the effects of observable personal and demographic characteristics on the formation of those attitudes. It also helps overcome the critique sometimes directed at the applied behavioral economics literature that some researchers make claims that go beyond what the statistical results justify. Therefore, one of the goals of this thesis is to use a rigorous measure of these latent variables. To achieve this, I estimate attitudes and the effects of the individuals’ latent traits on specific outcomes using a hierarchical item response model. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.relation.ispartofseries EUI PhD theses en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Department of Economics en
dc.subject.lcsh Econometrics
dc.subject.lcsh Social sciences -- Statistical methods
dc.title Identification and Estimation of Latent Variables and their Effect on Social and Economic Outcomes en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.identifier.doi 10.2870/18267
dc.neeo.contributor EL-ATTAR VILALTA|Mayssun|aut|
dc.neeo.contributor EL-ATTAR VILALTA|Mayssun|aut|
dc.neeo.contributor EL-ATTAR VILALTA|Mayssun|aut|
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