UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Three essays in development economics and gender Gonzalez Gutierrez, Coral Patricia


This dissertation is a collection of three chapters in Development Economics and Gender for the Mexican context. Chapter 2 analyses whether the gender composition of decision-making boards affects promotion decisions for either male or female researchers, by using a unique database for a context in which a group of peers makes all promotion decisions for all academic institutions in Mexico. The empirical analysis examines the probability of promotion for each researcher enrolled in the National System of Researchers, and how this is affected by the committee's gender composition, exploiting the random assignment of evaluators. The results show that women in decision-making committees do not significantly favor the probability of promotion for women; but women facing a male-only committee have a lower probability of promotion than men. Chapter 3 studies the effects on social attitudes of the sharp increase in violence experienced in Mexico during the "Drug War". This is done through a lab-in-the-field experimental approach with Mexican undergraduate students. The results suggest that there are experience-type specific effects for the different levels of violence exposure. Differential gender effects are also found; women with drug war-related violence experience appear to have two different behaviors; depending on which type of violence experience they had; one where they become community builders and show solidarity, and the other one where they develop a lot of fear and feelings of vulnerability and show spite. Chapter 4 studies the effect of the sharp increase in violence in Mexico on preventive health care attitudes, and on classic health measurements. The data used in this study is a match of the INEGI monthly homicide reports at the municipality level with the individual level data from the Mexican Family Life Survey. The results presented suggest that having high levels of violence can affect the individual's health when measured by classic variables such as blood pressure, hospitalizations, body mass index, and mental health; and it can also affect the behaviors that could help alleviate health problems, such as having a healthier lifestyle including non-smoking, spending time outdoors, sleeping well, going for wellness checkups, and having a positive mindset about oneself.

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