Dr. Hiwot Mesfin

Essays on Human and Social Capital Formation

Year: 2022

Eleonora Nillesen, Francesco Cecchi and Nyasha Tirivayi


This thesis constitutes three empirical chapters that aim to understand the formation of human and social capital in developing countries. Specifically, one of the chapters studies the effects of siblings’ sex composition on adolescents’ human capital development and finds that having more brothers rather than sisters leads to higher human capital outcomes. Another chapter investigates the effects of conditional and unconditional cash transfer programs on social capital and finds that while conditional transfer increases social capital, both transfers reduce political participation. The last empirical chapter examines the role of overconfidence and trust on farmers’ information-seeking behavior and finds that most farmers are overconfident in their skills, and overconfidence predicts less information seeking. Additionally, the chapter shows that trust in the expertise of information sources increases information seeking.

Selected publications by Hiwot Mesfin