Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Dissertation

Degree Name

Economics, PhD


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Yi Feng

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

C. Monica Capra

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Melissa Rogers

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2022 Miriam X Sierra Aguilar

Subject Categories

Economics | International Relations | Political Science


Chapter I. Lifestyle interventions that encourage healthy diet and exercise in Hispanic immigrants have encounter scant results due to a variety of factors such as financial limitations, lack of English language proficiency, and legal status. Mobile clinics have been shown to remove the barriers that insurance status, legal status, and linguistic and cultural barriers place on behavioral interventions. To address this, we attempted to determine if short message services (SMS) reminders when used in conjunction with health mobile clinics can engage and retain Hispanic immigrants in healthy lifestyle habits. This study presents a randomized controlled trial protocol to determine the responsiveness and effectiveness of receiving text messages reminders promoting lifestyle modifications of mobile clinic patients of the Arrowhead Medical Regional Center in San Bernardino County. Our data suggest that this group has the willingness to participate and is open to be part of a program by which they can form a pathway to produce long term positive health behaviors. This intervention can be easily scalable and use to encourage Hispanic-Latino immigrants and other vulnerable groups to initiate and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Chapter II. This chapter investigates the changes of income inequality as the result of two processes: globalization and domestic partisan politics. In a sample of sixteen Latin American countries over the period of 1989 through 2019, we find statistical evidence that while left-wing Presidents

increase income inequality, left-wing parties decrease income inequality. The presence of rightwing opposition parties tends to increase income inequality. In the context of globalization, while international trade tends to decrease income inequality, foreign direct investment (FDI) has a pronounced increase on income inequality, particularly under a left-wing President. Among the control variables, education, and to some degree, youth population decrease income inequality in Latin American countries.

Chapter III. This investigation presents a comparative case study that assesses the status of projects financed with Chinese collateral-loan commitments in Brazil and Ecuador during the last twenty years. The research is extended to Argentinean and Bolivian projects financed with non-collateral loans. Emphasis is placed on the host political and economic circumstances prior to embarking on financial relationships with China, as well as the needed setting for this association. The case study categorized projects into four different facets: projects’ price and incentives, concerns related to technology and environment, and then to discuss the differences and similarities of countries course of action in each category. Through this approach, the major takeaways evidence that, in general, host countries received loans to financed mega projects that were not economically viable. I demonstrate inadequate and politicized decisions from both the lending and borrower countries. Last, evidence revealed poor performance of government agencies, multiple administrative failures, and manipulation of rules and regulation around the projects.