ESSAYS ON DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS IN NEPAL
Sapkota Bastola, Pratikshya
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This dissertation consists of three papers. All three papers are independent but are related to the development of Nepal. The first paper investigates the role of food insecurity and women’s autonomy in child health in Nepal. Addressing issues of child health effectively with appropriate policies require systematic understanding of relationships among child health and associated parameters. Utilizing nationally representative data from the 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, we estimate different models for child health and nutrition indicators. Results indicate significant impact of food insecurity and women’s autonomy on child health and nutritional outcomes. The second paper investigates gender inequality in educational opportunities in Nepal. Parents perceive private schools, which are more expensive, to be of a higher quality than the public schools in Nepal. While public schools have higher proportion of female enrollments as compared to private schools, no scientific study has been carried out on this issue so far. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate gender inequalities in terms of private versus public schooling in Nepal. A household survey was carried out in various sub-urban areas of two districts of Nepal and data were collected on various child, household, and socio-demographic characteristics. The result shows that the probability of enrollment in private school is higher for boys as compared to girls and the overall gender gap in enrollment varies from 25% to 33%. Solving the existing energy crisis, alleviating poverty, and mitigating the potential impacts of climate change have garnered significant attention of policymakers in Nepal. In this context, this third paper examines the causal relationships among energy consumption, pollution emission, and economic growth for Nepal employing time series econometric methodology. The results from Granger causality tests suggest presence of long-run bi-directional causality running from energy consumption to carbon emission and vice-versa and a unidirectional causality running from economic growth to both carbon emissions and energy consumption. The findings imply that policies that boost energy consumption may not spur economic growth rather are more likely to exert adverse effects on the environment.