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Chapter 1 shows the implications of credit and labor market imperfections on gender differences in agricultural labor productivity, especially highlighting how both imperfections negatively affect female productivity by discouraging off-farm income generating activities and restricting access to inputs. The paper theoretically models the relationship between gender differences in agricultural labor productivity and market imperfections and it provides empirical evidence consistent with our theoretical model by decomposing the contribution of different factors to such gender differences. We find that agricultural labor productivity is on average 44 percent lower on plots belonging to female-headed households than on those belonging to male-headed households; and that 34 percent of the agricultural labor productivity gap is explained by spillovers from labor market gender differences and 30 percent is explained by gender differences in the use of purchased inputs.

Chapter 2 provides a decomposition analysis of the observed reductions in sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone concentrations, in the twelve richest European countries. It quantifies the proportion of the reductions that can be attributed to fiscal policies, trade, and energy taxes. We find that increasing the share of fiscal spending in GDP and shifting the emphasis towards spending in public goods and against non-social subsidies significantly lower the concentrations of sulfur dioxide and ozone but not nitrogen dioxide. At the same time, energy taxes reduce nitrogen dioxide concentrations but have no effect on ozone and sulfur dioxide. Finally trade openness has a direct effect on sulfur dioxide but no effect on nitrogen dioxide or ozone. Our estimates account for time-varying unobserved heterogeneity.

Chapter 3 is the first paper that uses the nationally representative Malawi 2009/2010 dataset. Its purpose is the initial statistical verification of the obtained data and provides a first assessment of agricultural productivity and gender in Malawi. We find that while female-managed plots are, on average, 25 percent less productive, 82 percent of this mean differential is explained by differences in inputs, assets and household characteristics, mainly due to high-value crop cultivation and household adult male labor inputs.