Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (PhD)

Degree Level





Andrew W. Horowitz

Committee Member

Amy Farmer

Second Committee Member

Raja Kali


Social sciences, Cohabilitation, Credit, Development, Family, Lending, Microlending, ODA


Chapter 1 explores a potential solution to the continuing disequlibrium in microfinance markets. I design a mechanism to aid in securitization of microloans, using a dynamic investment pool governed by a Central Microcredit Clearinghouse (CMC), that would sell investment units back to MFIs and outside investors simultaneously. The CMC would serve as a catalyst to this other avenue of microcredit financing, securitization of microloans, which could help spawn the type of growth in investor-based funding of MFIs that is so urgently needed. Chapter 2 analyzes Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment and disbursement activity in terms of motivation, considering that the difference between bilateral aid commitments and disbursements may be related to the business cycle of the donor country. The annual disbursement gap is calculated for each pair for each year, as well as a cumulative disbursement gap, and these are regressed against multiple cyclicality measures of income and a set of control variables. It is found in multiple specifications that the cumulative disbursement gap is generally procyclical, much as aid itself, although the cyclicality of aid depends on the cyclicality measure. This is confirmed with four extensions designed mainly as robustness checks. Chapter 3 uses both the round six and 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) data for both male and female respondents along with macroeconomic data over the same time period to test a number of theoretical questions regarding changes in relationship exit costs and their effects on behavior in cohabitation, marriage, and separation. I find that our proxy for cohabitation surplus and exit costs significantly affects subsequent decisions of cohabitation, marriage, separation, and divorce. Also, marriage hazard rates are related to these changing exit costs in ways consistent with recent advances in theory.