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2013-10-13 | Thesis PHD

The Poor and Their Neighbors: Essays on Behavioral and Experimental Economics

Medhin, Haileselassie. 2013. “The Poor and Their Neighbors: Essays on Behavioral and Experimental Economics” Phd Thesis
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This is a PhD dissertation by Haileselassie Medhin and containing seven self-contained papers:

  • Paper 1: Thanks but No Thanks: A New Policy to Reduce Land Conflict
  • Paper 2: Experimentation and Social Learning in Small-Scale Agriculture: A Tale of Two Dilemmas
  • Paper 3: Does Positional Concern Matter in Poor Societies? Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Rural Ethiopia
  • Paper 4: Positional Concerns among the Poor: Does Reference Group Matter? Evidence from Survey Experiments
  • Paper 5: Attitudes toward Uncertainty among the Poor: an Experiment in Rural Ethiopia
  • Paper 6: Preferences toward Efficiency and Pro-Sociality: A Comparison across Subject Pools
  • Paper 7: Cooperative Preferences in Teams

While the papers are quite distinct in the questions they address and each is based on its own dataset, there are some relations between them either in the topic covered, theories applied or empirical methods used. Generally put, the first five papers focus on the application of behavioral and experimental economics to the livelihood and behavior of poor households in developing countries. While the sixth paper also utilizes experimental data from poor farmers, it mainly focuses on subject pool issues related to the generalization of results from laboratory experiments. The seventh paper experimentally compares the cooperative behavior of individuals and teams. Table 1 presents a summary of the isses explored in each paper, together with the behavioral themes in focus and the experimental methods used. The purpose of this overview is to briefly describe the key issues, concepts, methods and findings in each paper.