“Gold Miss” or “Earthy Mom”? Evidence from Thailand
This paper investigates the impact of Thai women’s education on their marriage behavior and fertility. It first uses the panel data set from the Socio-Economic Survey to estimate the effect of education on the marriage market. The result from applying the individual fixed effect estimation indicates that obtaining a university degree decreases the probability of women’s marriage, emphasizing the rise of the “Gold Miss” phenomenon in Thailand. The cross-sectional data set from the Labor Force Survey examines the effect of education on fertility. By applying both the instrumental variable using the compulsory education reform as an instrument and pseudo-panel approaches to take into account the endogeneity of schooling, the result shows that education causally reduces fertility, which provides a convincing sequential explanation for the dramatic decline in fertility in Thailand.
Estimating Demand for Long-term Care Insurance in Thailand: Evidence from a Discrete Choice Experiment
At present, the Thai public health insurance schemes cover medical care. However, the financial risk associated with long-term care needs is unprotected. The increasing likelihood of Thai elderly living longer and living alone has raised great concern about their quality of life. In the wake of the declining informal support capacity, a public long-term care insurance (LTCI) system has been considered as a potential alternative. Because the public will have to contribute to the LTCI fund, this paper explores whether the Thai people are willing to pay for such a provision. The LTCI demand is estimated based on the stated preference survey data. Our results show that most respondents are willing to pay to insure against their risk associated with long-term care expenditure, but their preferences are very heterogeneous. Gains and losses for different policy scenarios, measured by consumer surplus, are discussed.
An Early Evaluation of a HighScope-Based Curriculum Intervention in Rural Thailand
This paper evaluates the early impact of an early childhood curriculum intervention on child development. Impact is measured at the end of the academic year, one year after implementation. Teachers in rural childcare centers in northeastern Thailand were encouraged to employ the new curriculum, which is based primarily on the HighScope approach. We overcome the endogenous decision of teachers to adopt the new curriculum by using the randomization of additional teachers as an instrument. We find that the new curriculum significantly improved child development in multiple dimensions, including gross motor, fine motor, expressive language, and personal and social skills. We also find evidence that exposure to the new curriculum significantly helps children with absent parents more than children with at least one parent present. The results are robust with regards to various estimation methods, child development measures, and sample selections.
Educational Assortative Mating and Income Inequality in Thailand
This study measures educational assortative mating in Thailand and its relationship with income inequality using national labor force survey data from 1985-2016. Since the 1990s, Thailand shows a trend of decreasing educational homogamy, but there is evidence of continuing educational hypergamy in Thai households. Using the semiparametric decomposition method of DiNardo, Fortin and Lemieux (1996), the study finds that educational assortative mating has affected changes in household income inequality over time. Furthermore, there exists a negative relationship between income inequality and marital sorting with same education, which contradicts evidence found in developed countries.
The Impact of Cash Transfers on Child Outcomes in Rural Thailand: Evidence from a Social Pension Reform
Unlike standard literature on the social pension policy and children’s outcomes, this paper provides evidence from Thailand that an introduction of small (equivalent to 2-3 days of minimum wage) but universally covered social pension can affect educational choice and work status of children living with eligible pensioners. Such a result seems to be driven by the characteristics of newly eligible pensioners who are not as poor as the pensioners under the targeted program before the reform. Our findings also show differential effects of the social pension by genders of the children and pensioners. In particular, teenage boys living with male pensioners are more likely to enroll in the secondary school compared to children in the control group living with almost eligible seniors, while the results for teenage girls are rather inconclusive.
Overoptimistic Entrepreneurs: Predicting Wellbeing Consequences of Self-Employment
The formation of expectations is a fundamental part of the process when people decide about engaging in an entrepreneurial venture. We evaluate the accuracy of newly self-employed people’s predictions of their overall future wellbeing. Based on individual panel data for Germany, we find that they are overly optimistic when we compare their predicted life satisfaction with their actual life satisfaction five years later on. This overoptimism also holds for those entrepreneurs who successfully remain in business for at least five years. A possible reason might be that they underestimate the heavy workload reflected in higher working hours than desired and the drop in leisure satisfaction.
Welfare Analysis of the Universal Health Care Program in Thailand
I estimate and decompose the welfare benefit of Thailand’s universal health care policy, also known as the 30 Baht program. The total welfare impact of the 30 Baht program is defined as the amount of consumption that an enrollee would need to give up that would leave her at the same expected utility as without the 30 Baht program. I find that the total welfare benefit is approximately 75 cents per one dollar of government spending. The main source of the welfare effect can be attributed to improved consumption smoothing rather than increases in the consumption level. Using difference in differences method, I find that the effect of the 30 Baht program on income is signicantly positive, while the effect on consumption is slightly negative but not significant. This implies that the 30 Baht program has a positive impact on savings and future consumption, rather than current consumption.
The Impacts of the Billing System on Healthcare Utilization: The Case of Thai Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme
While a large number of health insurance studies find that an increase in cost-sharing reduces healthcare demand, little has looked at the effect of a policy change operating through a non-price channel. This paper examines how a billing process can affect healthcare utilization given no change in price. Specifically, we look at the launch of the Direct Billing Payment program (DBP) to the Thai Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme. In the past, although the outpatient care is essentially free, its beneficiaries must pay at the point of services and get their money reimbursed later. The DBP allows the hospitals to charge the government directly. Using patient-level panel data from a large regional hospital, we find that the new billing system affects utilization through multiple channels. First, it increases the number of outpatient visits. Second, for each visit, the treatment costs and the share of prescription drug charge are higher. These impacts are found to be persistent over time, although less so in the case of visits. In addition, our analysis suggests that the likely cash constrained patients increase their utilization more proportionally.
Mortality Risk and Human Capital Investment: The Legacy of Landmines in Cambodia
Life expectancy plays a key role in determining households’ optimal investment in children’s human capital accumulation. This paper examines this relationship by looking at a unique case of Cambodia and the nation’s prevalence of landmines. Extensive usage of landmines during its long civil conflict since the 1970s was followed by large international effort of landmine clearance operation. A two-fold increase in landmine clearance effort during the periods 2004-2005 in affected areas, has led to a subsequent sharp fall in landmine casualty rates. Together with the male-biased characteristic of landmine accidents, all three variations allow us to estimate the impact of working-age mortality risk on skill formation using a difference-in-difference-in-difference model. To deal with the unobservable, landmine casualty rates are also instrumented by the stock of dangerous land in neighbouring areas. We find a strong negative effect of landmine mortality on both schooling and health investment outcomes. When the mortality risk from such a fearful event as landmine accidents is replaced by a more common incident of traffic accidents, any mortality effect on schooling outcomes is no longer detected. This is evidence of a role played by subjective life expectation in optimal decision making on the households.
Childhood Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Later-Life Outcomes: A Hidden Consequence of the 1989 Typhoon Gay
In human capital literature, it is established that skills are cross-productive and that the production technology is dynamic. This study looks at a case of Thailand and shows that a damage of mental health capital early on in life has a significant adverse effect on schooling attainment. We take the event of Typhoon Gay in 1989 in Thailand’s South-Eastern region as a random trigger of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder prevalence amongst young children in the disaster area. Using both micro datasets and a unique survey, we find strong evidence that disaster affected children suffered from a long-term undetected reduction in their mental health capital and thus worse accumulation of skills in other dimensions.