Essays in Applied Microeconomics
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The direct effects of policies receive much attention; however, the indirect effects are understudied. This dissertation is the study of unintended consequences of policies designed to increase human capital. The first policy relates to health: the effect of restrictions on tobacco advertising, aimed at reducing cigarette consumption, on market-concentration. I find support for a positive relationship between restrictions on advertising and HHI in the tobacco industry. This represents an importance trade-off for policy makers: on one hand, advertising restrictions are likely to smoking, and on the other hand, by leading to an increase in market-concentration, they may be giving more power to tobacco companies. The second policy relates to education: conditional cash transfers to girls enrolled in secondary school, aimed at increasing educational outcomes and bridging gender gap in education. I analyze the impact of having an eligible older sister on educational outcomes of younger siblings, separately for brothers and sisters. I find that conditional cash transfers are successful in increasing enrollment of girls of eligible cohorts but have no impact on the enrollment of younger ineligible cohorts of boys and girls.