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Research to manage the Environment for Development

Recent publications


An integrated assessment of vulnerability to floods using composite index – A district level analysis for Bihar, India.

Vulnerability assessment using composite indices provides critical information for the policymakers on why certain regions are impacted more than the others. Several researchers have assessed the vulnerability to hazard in diverse spatial and environmental settings, however, not many studies have assessed the vulnerability to flood hazards in Bihar, where flooding is a perennial event.


Higher Education and Prosperity: From Catholic Missionaries to Luminosity in India

This article estimates the impact of completed higher education on economic prosperity across Indian districts. To address the endogeneity of higher education, we use the location of Catholic missionaries circa 1911 as an instrument. Catholics constitute a very small share of the population in India and their influence beyond higher education has been limited. Our instrumental variable results find a positive effect of higher education on development, as measured by light density.


Encouraging urban households to segregate the waste they generate: Insights from a field experiment in Delhi, India.

Despite the Solid Waste Management Rules (SWM), 2016 stating that waste generators should segregate their waste before it is collected; most households in Delhi continue to be non-compliant. We conduct a study in 15 localities of Delhi to understand whether information, norms and economic incentive would have an effect on households’ compliance to rules. The study uses field experiments to elicit the impact of the interventions. We find that even low cost interventions such as information on segregation and its benefits are effective in changing household waste segregation behaviour.


Farmers’ choice of market channels and producer prices in India: Role of transportation and communication networks

This paper assesses the effect of transportation and communication networks on farmers’ choice of market channels for paddy and wheat, and subsequently on the prices they receive from these channels. It is found that smallholder farmers sell more to informal channels i.e. local traders and input dealers, and typically receive lower prices from them compared to the government-set minimum support prices (MSP). The prices realized from the sales in regulated markets are also less than the MSP despite these being claimed to be more transparent in price discovery.


Why are fewer married women joining the work force in rural India? A decomposition analysis over two decades

In contrast with global trends, India has witnessed a secular decline in women’s employment rates over the past few decades. We investigate this decline in rural areas, where the majority of Indian women reside. Using parametric and semi-parametric decomposition techniques, we show that changes in individual and household attributes fully account for the fall in women’s labor force participation in 1987–1999 and account for more than half of the decline in 1999–2011.


Editorial Introduction to Special Issue on “Gender, Family and Development"

This special issue on gender comprises articles from four different country settings: Sierra Leone, Senegal, Bangladesh, and Albania. Each uses large secondary data sets to explore how changing market and institutional environments affect gender attitudes and outcomes. In spite of the many historical and contemporary differences in these four economies, we see common difficulties in achieving gender equality.


Improving learning outcomes through information provision: Experimental evidence from Indian villages

We study how information to parents and schools on the performance of primary school children can improve learning outcomes in an environment where public and private schools co-exist. Contiguous village councils in the Indian state of Rajasthan are randomly assigned to either a control or one of four treatment groups in which student report cards on curriculum-based tests are provided to schools, parents or both. We find no changes in academic performance in public schools.


Redistributing teachers using local transfers

In this paper we show that local redistribution of educational resources via teacher transfers between neighboring public schools can improve equity in access to teachers. Transfers from teacher surplus schools to deficit schools within a 10 km radius in Haryana, a state of India for which we have geo-coded location of schools in 2013, enables 19 percent of deficit schools to meet the minimum requirement. We use the mandated norms in the Right to Education Act in India, to define deficit and surplus schools.