UBC Theses and Dissertations
Essays in empirical Economics Ma, Qian Li
The first chapter studies the long run effect of student grants and loans in Canada. Using linked administrative data and a regression discontinuity research design, I find that the Canada Student Grant for those from Low-Income Families (CSG-LI) increased university students’ 8-year cumulative employment income by 4.8% to 9.4%, and the results are robust to the optimal bandwidth and different weighting kernels. This pattern is not found for recipients of the Canada Student Grant from Middle-Income Families (CSG-MI). The grants do not affect students while they are in school — this is consistent with the fact that the grants replace interest-free loans. Rather, the difference in income is observable four years after enrolment once most students have entered the labor market. I find some evidence that the grants affect career choice: CSG-LI recipients are more likely to avoid low-paying industries. The second chapter assesses the phenomenon of decrease in resale prices of top-floor units of residential buildings. High indoor temperature of top-floor units may explain this phenomenon because top-floor residents own/use cooling appliances, such as air conditioners or fans, more than the residents on other floors, and the magnitude of top-floor discounts increases in regions with higher air temperatures. In the third chapter, I study the impact of the tax change on restaurant expenditure using an exogenous tax increase between July 2010 and April 2013 in British Columbia, Canada. Dining in restaurants can be easily substituted by home production, but consumers are heterogeneous because they have different elasticities of substitution because of different marginal cost of forgone labor and leisure. I find that restaurant expenditure was reduced by 4.0% to 7.7% when tax was increased, but the elimination of the tax did not bring back the pre-tax equilibrium. Furthermore, the amount of expenditure reduction is heterogeneous. The retired and the single were hit more by the tax increase. Both groups are arguably more leisure abundant.
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International