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Three Essays in Public Economics
This dissertation develops three topics in public economics. My research interest in agricultural land value originates from the observation that farmland values have risen throughout much of the Corn Belt and Northern Plains over the last decade. In contrast to the previous studies relying on surveys of agricultural producers, my study utilizes precise information from GIS databases. A hedonic model is estimated to determine the effect of proximity to local markets for crops on farmland value. Correcting for endogeneity of ethanol plant locations, I provide evidence that property values in Central Nebraska are substantially affected by proximity to multiple local markets.^ The second essay utilizes the latest waves of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) - Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS) panel data to examine what economic and business circumstances affect business perceptions of tax obstacles among 28 transition countries. Utilizing (generalized) ordered probit models, I first provide evidence that tax practices have effects on the firms’ perceived tax obstacles. Second, I analyze how a change in the economic and business circumstances affects the change in perceptions of the tax obstacles to business operations over time. In addition, I investigate the causality problems of whether the firms’ perceptions of tax obstacles in 2008 affect the hours needed to prepare and pay taxes, the number of tax payments, or how often the firms are inspected by tax officials in 2013.^ The third essay examines electronic filing adoption behavior for U.S. individual tax filers. Filing behavior is explained by economic and social characteristics. The estimates from first differences and state-level panel analysis suggest that better access to the internet, age, unemployment rates, income, racial characteristics, and population growth affect the adoption of electronic tax returns. Estimating the spatial dependence effects for unmeasured factors with two alternative spatial weight matrices, I correct biased estimates provided from non-spatial model specifications. The essay concludes that spatial econometric techniques are necessary to fully understand the relationship between adoption of electronic tax filing and socioeconomic characteristics, and state-level spillover effects.^
Park, Junpyo, "Three Essays in Public Economics" (2018). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10843771.