Quantitative Policy Modeling

Teacher Pay and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the Rural Hardship Allowance in Zambia

This paper studies the effect of unconditional teacher salary increases on teacher and student outcomes. To study the issue, we evaluate the rural hardship allowance in Zambia, which corresponds to a salary increase of 20%. This allowance is allocated to schools on the basis of a distance criterion allowing us to use a regression discontinuity design. We use administrative data from 2004 to 2015 on school and teacher characteristics and on test scores. In addition, we perform a telephone survey of schools close to the eligibility threshold.

Analysing the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks in the South African Economy

This paper is the first one to analyse the effect of aggregate government spending and taxes on output for South Africa using three types of a calibrated DSGE model and more data driven models such as a structural vector error correction model (SVECM) and a time-varying parameter VAR (TVP-VAR) to capture possible asymmetries and time variation of fiscal impulses.

Consumer demand for alcoholic beverages and tobacco in Lesotho: A double-hurdle approach

In this paper, we estimate income elasticities and investigate the determinants of alcohol and tobacco consumption in Lesotho using a Double-Hurdle model on the 2002/03 Lesotho HBS data. The results reveal that both alcohol and tobacco are income inelastic with estimated elasticities of 0.6553 and 0.3561, respectively. Given this, therefore, we argue that differentiated tax hikes, with a relatively higher rate on tobacco, can be more effective both as a consumption deterrent and revenue increasing policy, without much compromise on employment and poverty.

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