Radine Rafols

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Alexander Rothenberg

Second Advisor

Alfonso Flores-Lagunes

Subject Categories

Economics | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This dissertation explores how geography, institutions, and culture affect various socio-economic outcomes. It is composed of two chapters. Chapter 1 evaluates the economic implications of climate change in the Philippines. How will economic geography change as firms and people adapt to the challenges of a warming planet? I develop a quantitative spatial model wherein rising temperatures and sea-levels disrupt location fundamental amenities and productivities. I allow for heterogenous adaptation among skill groups to incorporate changes in inequality. Taking climate projections at 2100, I estimate aggregate welfare and output to fall by 20\% and 14\% respectively, with more prominent losses for low-skilled workers. However, large-scale adaptation strategies can attenuate initial damages by as high as 4 percentage points. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest the cost-effectiveness of coastline protection over the creation of a new metropolitan area inland. Chapter 2 inspects the influencing role of gender norms on female labor market performance. Using the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), I explore how gender norms held at a very young age influence trajectories lifetime trajectories of child penalties on employment outcomes. My findings illustrate that with respect to labor participation and earnings, mothers disproportionately bear impact of children compared to male parents. I also show that short-run penalties on wages and labor hours follow females throughout their careers and persist up to ten years post-child. While all mothers have labor outcomes dip by 18-22\% in comparison to their baseline levels a year before childbirth, long-run losses attenuate among females with progressive gender attitudes.


Open Access