Tharshini Thangavelu defended her thesis “Essays on Malnutrition, Savings and Preferences” on September 12th, 2018. Her thesis touches three different topics in economics, namely preferences, savings and malnutrition. Jinggang Guo defended his thesis “Economics Timber Production and Climate Change mitigation” on October 12th, 2018.

Tharshini ThangaveluTharshini’s paper I and II investigate children’s well-being from a health perspective. The overall findings suggest that there remains much to do in terms of improving child health in India. Together, these papers contribute to a broader understanding of child malnutrition by approaching the problem of child health from two perspectives. The take home message from these two single-authored papers is that malnutrition and its consequences remain an important research agenda, and that looking at intervention schemes in the later stages of childhood, rather than focusing solely on the early stages, can be beneficial. Moreover, government health programs may be established to serve groups in the population that are known by the government to have health endowments or environments that are distinctively different from those of the population in general. The third paper concerns farmers saving and a rather surprising, finding was that the extra money used to purchase inputs at the beginning of the next planting season was not from the post-harvest bank deposit: in fact, farmers withdrew most of the harvest income they had deposited well in advance of the next planting season.

Learn more
Read the thesis; “Essays on Malnutrition, Savings and Preferences” at Luleå University of Technology. Read also the news article based on Tharshini’s fourth article; ”Policy interventions need to consider characteristics of angling groups”.

Jinggang’s thesis cover timber production and climate mitigation. Swedish forests are more than just timber products, they have vital ecological and environmental functions, such as biodiversity, recreational values, carbon sequestration. Forests are regarded as one of the key factors in achieving Sweden's environmental objectives, especially reduced climate impact and sustainable forests. The increasing demand for different forest products and services requires that forests should be managed to strike a balance between different functions. The results show that the inclusion of non-timber benefits in the forest sector modeling framework can more accurately reflect the objectives of forest owners. Promoting forest carbon sequestration in Sweden to mitigate climate change can be a relatively low-cost option, and it is more effective in the short term. The potential expansion of bioenergy will change the optimal mix of timber and non-timber products and services, causing competition between timber markets and affecting forest carbon. It is worth noting that the climate benefits of using bioenergy compared to fossil fuels are time dependent. The findings of this thesis can contribute to informing policymakers of the potential impacts of the different policy instruments, assisting them in handling trade- offs between sometimes conflicting policy goals.

Learn more
Read the thesis; “Economics of timber production and climate change mitigation” at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Guo defenceJinggang Guo to the left and opponent Brent Sohngren to the right.