Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Abu Shonchoy

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Cem Karayalcin

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Jesse Bull

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Mark A. Finlayson

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Myopic Voter, Natural Disaster, Natural Language Processing, RCT, Technology Adoption, Sharecropping, Universal Health Insurance

Date of Defense



This dissertation includes three essays on development economics, addressing the socio-economic effects of natural shocks and interventions in these countries. In the first essay, I analyze how the Indian government's response to cyclone Fani affected the parliamentary election in 2019. It develops a theoretical model about how voters' type (being myopic or not) and the probability of a natural disaster affect politicians' response. Unlike other studies related to myopic theory, we use sentiment analysis rather than public spending to calculate voters' attitudes towards the government's response. The result shows that (1) the probability of winning the election increases for the ruling party after cyclone Fani (2) and an increase in sentiment leads to a rise in the probability of reelecting in areas that parliament members are from the ruling government's party.

In the second essay, I provide a new explanation for the observed low rates of adoption by emphasizing the role land contracts play in crop demonstration efficiency. Agricultural science continuously improves productivity by introducing new technologies; however, farmers typically doubt the efficacy of recently introduced technologies given the lack of sufficient information about these crops' productivity. Crop demonstration is a central part of agricultural extension programs to expedite the adoption of these new crops. Depending on the sharecropping contract, landlords may take adoption decisions while they may not be exposed to any extension program. The result confirms our developed theory that the adoption rate drops under the sharecropping contract.

In the last essay, I investigate the effects of universal health insurance (UHI) on Iranian households' out-of-pocket (OOP) health care expenditures and incidences of catastrophic healthcare expenditure (CHE). Iranian households suffer from high rates of OOP health expenditures compared with other countries. As a result, they have a greater risk of using their savings or borrowing money to cover health care expenses. In response to the problem, the Iranian government carried out healthcare reform in 2014, including UHI. Our results show a higher protective effect of the program for the lowest income quintile. Moreover, the program's effect on CHE is negative and statistically significant, implying that the program decreased CHE's rate.





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