Purdue University Graduate School
Daniel Kebede Final Dissertation.pdf (2.94 MB)

Three Essays in Economics

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posted on 2023-08-03, 20:36 authored by Daniel G KebedeDaniel G Kebede

 The overall theme of my dissertation is applying frontier econometric models to interesting economic problems. The first chapter analyzes how individual consumption responds to permanent and transitory income shocks is limited by model misspecification and availability of data. The misspecification arises from ignoring unemployment risk while estimating income shocks. I employ the Heckman two step regression model to consistently estimate income shocks. Moreover, to deal with data sparsity, I propose identifying the partial consumption insurance and income and consumption volatility heterogeneities at the household level using Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO). Using PSID data, I estimate partial consumption insurance against permanent shock of 63% and 49% for white and black household heads, respectively; the white and black household heads self-insure against 100% and 90% of the transitory income shocks, respectively. Moreover, I find income and consumption volatilities and partial consumption insurance parameters vary across time. In the second chapter I recast smooth structural break test proposed by Chen and Hong (2012), in a predictive regression setting. The regressors are characterized using the local to non-stationarity framework. I conduct a Monte Carlo experiment to evaluate the finite sample performance of the test statistic and examine an empirical example to demonstrate its practical application. The Monte Carlo simulations show that the test statistic has better power and size compared to the popular SupF and LM. Empirically, compared to SupF and LM, the test statistic rejects the null hypothesis of no structural break more frequently when there actually is a structural break present in the data. The third chapter is a collaboration with James Reeder III. We study the effects of using promotions to drive public policy diffusion in regions with polarized political beliefs. We estimate a model that allows for heterogeneous effects at the county-level based upon state-level promotional offerings to drive vaccine adoption during COVID-19. Central to our empirical application is accounting for the endogenous action of state-level agents in generating promotional schemes. To address this challenge, we synthesize various sources of data at the county-level and leverage advances in both the Bass Diffusion model and 10 machine learning. Studying the vaccine rates at the county-level within the United States, we find evidence that the use of promotions actually reduced the overall rates of adoption in obtaining vaccination, a stark difference from other studies examining more localized vaccine rates. The negative average effect is driven primarily by the large number of counties that are described as republican leaning based upon their voting record in the 2020 election. Even directly accounting for the population’s vaccine hesitancy, this result still stands. Thus, our analysis suggests that in the polarized setting of the United States electorate, more localized policies on contentious topics may yield better outcomes than broad, state-level dictates. 


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Economics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Mario J Crucini

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Trevor Gallen

Additional Committee Member 2

Justin Tobias

Additional Committee Member 3

Yong Bao

Additional Committee Member 4

Kevin Mumford