By Suhani Jalota
As the population of urban poor living in slums increases, governments are trying to relocate people into government–provided free housing. Slum redevelopment affects every part of a household’s livelihood, but most importantly the health and wellbeing of younger generations. This paper investigates the effect of slum redevelopment schemes on child stunting levels. Data was collected in forty–one buildings under the slum–redevelopment program in Mumbai. The study demonstrates through a fixed effect regression analysis that an additional year of living in the building is associated with an increase in the height–for–age Z–score by 0.124 standard deviations. Possible explanations include an improvement in the overall hygienic environment, sanitation conditions, indoor air pollution, and access to health and water facilities. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that water contamination, loss of livelihood and increased expenses could worsen health outcomes for residents. This study prompts more research on the health effects of slum redevelopment projects, which are becoming increasingly common in the rapidly urbanizing developing world.
Advisor: Erica Field, Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: O12, O14, O17, O18, O22 | Tagged:
The Effect of Social, Cultural, and Political Values on Entrepreneurial Perceptions and Venture Creation: A Global Investigation
By Repton Salisbury
The effect of entrepreneurial activity on economic development has been researched thoroughly. New firm creation spurs economic growth by creating employment opportunities, cultivating innovation, and encouraging competition. Globally, there are countless areas that could benefit from a livelier entrepreneurial ecosystem. So how does a government or population first spur entrepreneurial activity? An entrepreneur’s perceptions are among the most powerful factors that impact the life or death of a new venture, but the determinants that influence how these perceptions first form are still largely unknown. Using survey data collected by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor in 2010 across the United States, Japan, Switzerland, Israel, United Kingdom, Peru, Russia, Iran, and China, I conduct binary logistic regressions of individual level characteristics, social ideals, cultural norms, human development, and other environmental attributes on the most important perceptions of entrepreneurs. These perceptions have been identified by previous research as an entrepreneur’s perception of local opportunities, internal skills, and fear of failure in creating a new venture. I find that several social, cultural, and political values have a significant effect on the psychological behavior of nascent entrepreneurs.
Advisor: Alison Hagy, Grace Kim | JEL Codes: L2, L26, O17 | Tagged: Culture, Entrepreneurship, Perceptions, Venture Creation
By Hong Zhu
M-PESA, the hugely popular mobile money system in Kenya, has been celebrated for its potential to “bank the unbanked” and increase access to financial services. This paper provides evidence to support this idea and explores mechanisms through which this might be the case. It specifically looks at the savings products held by individuals and how this changes in relation to M-PESA use. It then constructs an index for measuring the extent to which individuals are integrated into the formal financial sector. This paper argues that M-PESA’s effect on financial inclusion is a growing phenomenon, which suggests that keeping pace with the rapid evolutions of this mobile money system should be a high priority for researchers. As this paper elucidates, M-PESA has become notably more integrated with the formal financial sector in 2013 as compared to 2009, which holds implications for user behavior.
Advisor: Michelle Connolly, Xiao Yu Wang | JEL Codes: D14, E42, G21, G23, O1, O17, O16, O33 | Tagged: Financial Inclusion, Mobile Money, Savings,Technology