Master of Public Administration (MPA) Theses

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    Energy and Carbon Emission in Kenya the Past and Future
    Zhu, Ziyao (2023-05-17)
    This paper used the Logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) method to estimate the impact factors of carbon emissions in Kenya from 1999-2020. The major factors that led to Kenya’s carbon emission growth are discussed. Based on the socioeconomic data in 2020, this paper further uses Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modeling to estimate the impact on Kenya’s economy and carbon emissions brought by potential energy tax.
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    Agricultural Mechanization and Gender Influence: A Case Study on the Adoption of Machine Harvestable Chickpeas in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India
    Li, Jialu (2023-05)
    The first machine-harvestable chickpea variety, NBeG47, was released in Andhra Pradesh, India in 2015 to reduce on-farm labor burden from manual harvesting and maintain sufficient protein supply. This paper uses logistic regression to study factors associated with households adopting machine-harvestable chickpeas, and OLS regression to study the association of adopting machine-harvestable chickpeas with reducing female on-farm working time, and household and female dietary quality in rural India. We found that factors including household composition and family labor availability are statistically significantly correlated with the probability of households adopting machine-harvestable chickpeas. We also discover that adopting machine-harvestable chickpeas does significantly associate with releasing female labor on farms, while no evidence shows its correlation with the change in household/female dietary diversity status. To further promote the adoption of machine-harvestable chickpeas in rural India, it is essential for policymakers and local communities to cooperate together to facilitate multi-field innovations to ensure the smooth chickpea variety transformation process.
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    Climate Refugees: An Urgent International Dilemma Caused by Climate Disasters
    Li, Yinuo (2023-05-04)
    Severe climate disasters have displaced millions of people globally. This paper centers around the following research questions: To what extent is climate change comparable to the five existing standards of defining/accepting a refugee (i.e. race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, and political opinion)? Should climate refugeeism be comparable to these five existing standards, should climate refugees be granted refugee designation? Which countries are responsible for these climate refugees based on the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change? Where does the current situation leave the United States, and what are its major implications to U.S. national security and immigration policy? Last, how might future theorizing on climate refugees’ impact, and otherwise shape, U.S. national security and immigration policy? To answer these questions, the research takes a qualitative approach. Specifically, a discourse analysis is conducted on these following sources: a) documents produced during conferences, including the annual United Nations Climate Change Conferences and, b) news coverage pertaining to populations who have been displaced from their home countries due to climate disasters. Such evidence will not only synthesize a collective knowledge about climate refugees, but it will, furthermore, allow the research to identify an existing gap in the literature. As climate change becomes increasingly alarming, it is astounding that an operational definition of “climate refugeeism” has not been arrived at—especially one to be used in an official sense, which might inform international protocols developed by the UNHCR (i.e. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). Without a consensus on an operational definition of “climate refugeeism,” the issue of climate refugeeism has not been legitimated. Thus, countries face no obligation to welcome people displaced in light of climate change. Therefore, the climate refugee dilemma requires urgent attention, examination, and consideration. Because there is no definition of “climate refugeeism” in any legal international agreements or protocols, there exists no data for conducting a quantitative analysis. Thus, the paper uses discourse analysis to study this topic. This discourse analysis aims to demonstrate the importance in arriving at a shared understanding of what climate refugeeism is, in acknowledging its severity, and consequently, in resolving to share responsibility for displaced persons across UN member-states. If climate refugees are granted refugee statuses, people displaced by climate disasters will gain access to essential human rights survivals, protections, and services offered internationally that they presently do not hold claim to.
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    Determinants of Social Capital and its Impacts on Suicide Rates in the United States
    Hattori, Daiki (2023-05)
    This research aims to analyze the determinants of social capital and its impacts on suicide rates by gender. The cross-sectional data from the Current Population Survey is used for social capital variables. I generate indexes corresponding to community involvement and networks of neighbors based on survey questionnaires. I use Pearson's chi-squared tests and multivariate logistic regressions to analyze social capital determinants. Regarding the impacts of social capital on suicide rates, I aggregate social capital indexes by state and county and conduct the panel data regression analysis. I find that age, education, income, unemployment, and having children are positive predictors of social capital, while divorce and metropolitan status are negative predictors. In terms of social capital’s impacts, substantial involvement in community is associated with lower female suicide rates. I argue that participation in community activities reduces social isolation and decreases suicidal behaviors. On the other hand, a strong network of neighbors is associated with higher female suicide rates, which suggests that exclusive relationships with close neighbors may impede broader social connectivity.