ItemBridging the Universal Care Inequality Gap in South America With a Unified Health System: A Comparison of Brazil with ArgentinaBenitez Collante, Angel Eugenio (2021)This research paper answers to the question of whether a unified health system could achieve better advances in terms of access and quality of care, comparing the health care systems of Brazil and Argentina. Brazil is the only country in South America in having implemented a unified health system, the Sistema Unico de Saúde, with the aim of improving access and quality of care. Regardless of the scope of health care policies, a unified system seeks to encourage the participation of all health care sectors and all levels of government, unifying efforts to improve access and quality. Trends in health care quality indicators showed a significant improvement in indicators of access (study I), and quality of care (study II) in Brazil in comparison with Argentina. The implementation of a unified health care system by the reform of 1989 of Brazil’s Constitution acted as a catalyst for the design and implementation of policies, expanding access to health services, as well as improving the quality of care. The positive changes observed in Brazil compared to Argentina could be attributed to the impact of the policies that consolidated Brazil’s Unified Health System in 2001, which would not have been possible without the universal care scope and the unified structure of its health care system initiated by the constitution reform. Results of trend analyses, and multivariate and difference-in-difference regressions on quality indicators suggest that the consolidation of a unified health system had positive impacts on improving and maintaining the quality of care in Brazil, namely in matters of out-of-pocket expenditure, and the mortality from of communicable and noncommunicable diseases. Throughout this study, I extend prior research to provide South American countries with information and insights for policy reform following the example of Brazil’s unified health care system. ItemWorks for Taxes: Financing Infrastructure in PeruDiaz Bedregal, Alvaro (2018-05)Since the mid 1990's, the Government of Peru implemented private public partnership systems to deliver quality public infrastructure at a faster pace. One of those systems, adopted in 2008 to accelerate the implementation of priority public infrastructure projects across the country is called Works for Taxes (“Obras por Impuestos”). This system allows any private company or consortium to finance and implement public infrastructure projects prioritized by any level of Government in Peru, and later recover the total amount of its investment as a credit when filing Corporate Income Tax. Since its adoption in 2008, companies based in Peru have increasingly worked under this scheme. As of December 2017, 307 projects had been implemented using the system, for more than US$ 3.6 Billion, and involving 102 companies across different public infrastructure areas. The reasoning behind the system is that using it, the Government is able to forward financial resources required to complete prioritized projects from private companies paying corporate income tax in Peru, and to deliver these works faster than traditionally. Under this system the private partner may choose –among government prioritized projects- to finance one or more works (e.g., a road needed near towns surrounding one of its locations, which will greatly benefit its workers' families in the area but also their communities). In this thesis, I address the question of whether the Peruvian Works for Taxes system created in 2008 helped solve the infrastructure under provision problem or not. For this purpose, I carried out an observational longitudinal study over panel data containing information on all projects developed in Peru under this system, from its starting point in 2008 to December 2017. Through this analysis I found that only after critical and successive legal adjustments, the system became able to serve its intended policy objective with increasing geographical reach and covering a widening variety of social services, though still with a limited number of participant companies. ItemFamily Member Participation In Community Health Worker Intervention and Maternal Health Behavior: a Study of World Vision's Timed and Targeted Counseling from Cambodia, Guatemala, Kenya, and ZambiaYun, Yeareen (2018-05)Community Health Worker (CHW) interventions are widely used to improve maternal and child health outcomes in developing countries. They are a part of the core child and maternal strategy of World Vision, a Christian relief and development organization operating in nearly 100 countries across the world. World Vision uses CHWs to carry out its timed and targeted counseling (ttC) program, which involves CHWs regularly visiting homes of expectant mothers during pregnancy and also post-pregnancy during the first two years of the baby's life. CHWs provide health information and support to women and invite influential family members, such as husbands and mother-in-laws, to join the counseling sessions. World Vision currently carries out ttC programs in 28 countries, 7 of which have adopted ttC as a national government-led approach to improving maternal, neonatal, and child health outcomes. This paper examines the impact family member involvement in ttC sessions have on maternal health behavior in four countries: Cambodia, Guatemala, Kenya, and Zambia. ItemIsraeli Education Policies as a Tool for the Ethnic Manipulation of the Arab Druze: Israel and the Occupied Syrian GolanAun, Amal (2018-05)This thesis investigates decisions and processes of ethnic manipulation within the educationsystem in Israel using archival documents, textbooks, and interviews to guide its arguments. The paper studies taught in Druze schools in Israel and the Occupied Syrian Golan OSG, documents interviews of Druze teachers and activists, and compares Israel's educational policies with international laws. Next, it examines the particular conditions of the Syrians in the Golan as an occupied people in the proximity of the Syrian civil war. The author argues that the state of Israel employs tactics of minoritization and ethnic manipulation against its Arab Druze communities in the OSG and Israel proper in order to maintain its ethnocratic regime. Institutionalized efforts of manipulation include the separation of Druze from the Arab school system, the construction of separate Druze holidays, and mandatory conscription to the Israeli army. Through these tactics, Israel has misappropriated Druze agency, undermined their identity, and manipulated their ethnic heritage. Within the education system, Israel's policies have created a Druze community that is uninformed about its history, disconnected from its culture, and confused about its identity. While Syrians in the Golan do not serve in the Israeli army, the effects of identity suppression have been magnified in the region due to the Syrian civil war and the consequent closure of their (limited) access to Syria. International law requires Israel, as a signatory to several covenants and partner in multiple treaties, to provide an education that preserves and promotes the culture and history of ethnic minorities—especially peoples in occupied territories. This includes an accurate representation of the borders of the State, inclusion of notable Arab Druze historical figures, and an education about their Arab culture and heritage. Finally, this thesis argues that while several international covenants and treaties are relevant to the acceptable cultural and historical representation for minorities and indigenous groups, the need to specify what that means remains. Adding General Comments and having the Special Rapporteur on Education visit Israel, combined with increased pressure from non-governmental organizations, would ultimately increase the state's accountability for and adherence to those conventions. ItemMacroeconomic and Socioeconomic Impacts of Tax Amnesty Policy in Indonesia: an Economy-Wide ApproachKuncoro, Andi (2018-05)This thesis assesses the economy-wide impacts of tax amnesty policy in Indonesia during 2016-2017 on selected economic and social indicators. This paper points out that the impacts of asset repatriation and extra tax revenue collected from tax amnesty can be only measured and analyzed comprehensively if those two amnesty outcomes are being treated as exogenous variables in a price-endogenous model such as FCGE (financial computable general equilibrium). Seven tax amnesty policy scenarios consist of factual and counterfactuals are simulated with the model to assess the effects of those two shocks on 9 economic indicators and 3 social indicators. The simulations reveal that, in general, tax amnesty generates a slight expansionary effect on the economy at the cost of worsening income inequality. The simulations also show that even though ‘targeted' and ‘non-targeted' tax amnesties lead the economy to grow, income inequality between the poor and the rich is widened. Financial income effects and forgiveness effect are held responsible for the worsening income inequality between the poor and the rich in Indonesia. Out of seven simulations, one shows that tax amnesty that is designed to specifically target the rich and corporations but with no salient information on where the repatriated assets have been allocated in the financial market—tend to have contractionary effect on the economy. ItemCompetitiveness Of The Commercial Credit Market: Measuring Market Behavior in MexicoGalvan, Roberto (2018-05)Competitiveness in the commercial credit market is an essential characteristic that generates lower interest rates and allows people a greater opportunity to smooth their consumption over time. However, international reports argue that the Mexican credit market is not competitive, which has limited its benefits. In order to generate greater competitiveness in the sector, the Federal Government in Mexico undertook a Financial Reform in 2014. This research takes elements from the Panzar & Rosse model (PR) and the Sullivan approach (SA), two methodologies among industrial organization theory, in order to identify if the commercial credit market in Mexico is competitive. One the one hand, PR indicates how changes in inputs' prices can affect the equilibrium revenues for institutions and based on this determine the market structure. On the other hand, SA uses the PR model but simplifies the analysis to determine the minimum number of firms required for having a competitive market. Based on the available data, this thesis follows the SA and analyzes the market structure of credit institutions in credit cards, personal loans, payroll loans, auto loans, and mortgages, separately. The results will allow testing the null hypothesis of a monopolistic structure, and therefore the non-existence of a perfectly competitive market. Based on the results, public policy reforms are suggested in order to make the regulation and measurement of commercial credit competition more efficient. ItemPerspectives on Welfare Provision and Low Continuity Rates within Ghana's Public Education SystemBotsio, Papa Kojo (2018-05)This thesis presents an exploration of welfare provision and low continuity rates in Ghana's public education system. The first chapter provides a brief introduction to the study, including the background and motivation for undertaking this research. The introduction is then followed by a literature review and theoretical framework section that presents some of the influential literature that have framed my thoughts and analysis. A discussion chapter follows to define in figures, what the issue of low continuity rates looks like in Ghana, and how Ghana compares to exemplars in the field of Comparative Education as well as to geographically proximate and economically similar countries. Historical and Current Welfare Interventions in Ghana which target education are then presented and analyzed for their effects on education, especially on continuity rates. The following chapter then outlines some of the major causes, followed by a chapter that makes suggestions for tackling low continuity rates in Ghana's Public Education System all from the perspectives of Elite Stakeholders in the education sector in Ghana. This thesis then concludes with a summary chapter that acknowledges limitations to the study and finally closes with some concluding thoughts and further research ideas. ItemWillingness-To-Pay for Fairtrade Products: How Different Information About Tariffs Influences Consumer ChoiceMiranda, Anne (2018-05)Consumer willingness-to-pay (WTP) for Fairtrade products is an important topic in international economics that examines the demand side of the market for ethically sourced goods. Under Fairtrade, consumers who buy labeled products typically pay more than market prices and some portion of this price premium goes towards bettering the terms of trade for producers who are considered marginalized. The purpose of this research will be to examine how consumer WTP for Fairtrade products changes under different pricing given the introduction of new information regarding the accounting of tariffs in the price premium. This paper also seeks to examine the relationship between charity and consumer utility and how much consumers are willing to pay for a Fairtrade product before deciding that the price premium is not justified. Additionally, this paper will use consumer choice and demand as a way of determining whether consumers exhibit faith in the government to resolve global socioeconomic issues. The results from the statistical and economic models I present show that consumers already have a preference for the Fairtrade product under a system of no information other than price and label, that this preference strengthens after being presented with a price breakdown of import tax and producer contribution amount, and that this preference becomes even greater when told that the US government will use the tax revenue towards international development programs. The warm glow effect and the utility consumers receive from making a charitable purchase is also pronounced, and consumers also indicate a considerable trust for the government through their market choices. ItemAddressing America's Inequality Gap: How the Fight For $15 Campaign Went From Farfetched to WidespreadCappon, Nicholas (2018-05) ItemThe Role of Entrepreneurs in Economic Development: Prospects and Challenges of Female Entrepreneurs in Agribusiness in GhanaQuaidoo, Marilyn (2018-05)Female entrepreneurs in Africa contribute significantly to the growth of national economies. However, they face multiple limitations while running their businesses. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the relationship between female entrepreneurship and economic development in Ghana. Hence, the question under consideration is: What role do female agribusiness owners play in Ghana's economic development? A Case Study of Solution Oasis. In this study, I assess the relationship between entrepreneurship and economic development through both theoretical and empirical analysis. I also address the importance of the agricultural sector to African economies like Ghana with a focus on the socioeconomic role of female agribusiness owners. Using a case study analysis, I describe the organizational structure and operations of a Ghanaian female entrepreneur's company and provide readers with the current opportunities and threats she encounters in fostering economic growth in Ghana.