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India

2019-04-02

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.

2019-04-01

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.

2019-04-01

The Measurement and Mismeasurement of Social Difference

Measures of social difference such as the Ethnolinguistic Fractionalization Index (ELF) and Polarization are commonly used proxies for community heterogeneity. They are used to “explain” collective outcomes ranging from voluntary contributions in elementary schools to civil wars. This essay reviews this literature in the face of new research on identity and collective outcomes. I argue that methods of social classification often seriously mis-measure identity and difference and that poverty rather than heterogeneity is often the source of community failures.

2019-04-01

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.

2019-04-01

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.

2019-04-01

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.

2019-04-01

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.

2019-04-01

Valuing Cultural Services of the Kailash Sacred Landscape for Sustainable Management

Hindu Kush Himalaya is home to many cultural and religious sites. The literature on the valuation of cultural sites in the mountain terrains is thin. Hence, their development and sustainability are often ignored. Using primary survey data from three different sites in the Kailash Sacred Landscape of India and Nepal, the cultural value of religious sites to the visitors and households living in the surrounding areas was estimated using a modified travel cost method.

2019-04-01

Forest dependence and poverty in the Himalayas—Differences between India and Nepal

In the remote Himalayan districts of Pithoragarh, India and Baitadi, Nepal, households are dependent on agriculture and forests for their livelihood. In this paper, we examine poverty–forest linkages by examining data from a survey of 652 households from these districts, who live on either side of the Mahakali River. Per capita income in Nepal is half of that in India. Yet, in the Himalayas, where households live in a similar geographic terrain, we find that households in Nepal are much better off in terms of assets and income relative to their Indian counterparts.

2019-04-01

Transaction Costs in Irrigation Management in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

This is the first study that records the quantum of transaction costs in Nepal’s Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems (FMIS) and analyzes the factors influencing them. The paper further examines the impact of transaction costs on irrigation management and agricultural productivity in Nepal. A field survey in the Kathmandu valley, reveals that the main constituent of transaction costs is time spent on waiting, watching and negotiating (WWN) which amount to 90% of the ex-post transaction costs and 81% of the total transaction costs.

2019-03-31

Does Collective Action Sequester Carbon? Evidence from the Nepal Community Forestry Program

This paper uses 620 forest plot measurements taken from a nationally representative sample of 130 Nepal community forests combined with information on forest collective action to estimate the effects of collective action on carbon per hectare and three additional measures of forest quality. We use three measures of forest user group collective action, including membership in the Nepal Community Forestry Programme (CFP).

2019-03-31

Gender Differences in Health Expenditure of Rural Cancer Patients: Evidence from a Public Tertiary Care Facility in India

This paper investigates if there are gender differences in health expenditures and treatment seeking behavior among cancer patients and finds that the results are consistent with gender discrimination. Using a survey on rural patients suffering from cancer in a public tertiary health center in an Indian state Odisha, the study finds that expenditures on female patients are significantly lesser than those on males. Even after controlling for other covariates, in particular the type of cancer, demographic and socio-economic variables, 73% of the difference persists.

2019-03-31

Evaluating climate change adaptation through evacuation decisions: a case study of cyclone management in India

Adaptations to extreme climatic events like tropical storms are being built into disaster management by empowering vulnerable communities through activities like disaster awareness, trainings on rescue measures, provisions of better infrastructure, and strengthening of societal institutions under the Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Risk Management programs. With increasing threats from climate change, it is essential that the effectiveness of such measures is evaluated and limitations are addressed.

2018-06-25

EfD India Annual Report 2017

The EfD India Report 2017 gives you an excellent overview of the centres´ achievements during 2017 ranging from interesting policy stories on how economic research is put to use around the world to collaborative research programs, a wide range of publications, and our academic capacity efforts. 

2018-05-21

Dynamics versus optimization in non-convex environmental economics problems with a single welfare function

Economics has a well-defined notion of equilibrium. Unlike mechanics or thermodynamics, economics does not include explicit theories of dynamics describing how equilibria are reached or whether they are stable. However, even simple economics problems such as maximization of a welfare function might sometimes be interpreted as dynamics problems. Here we consider when dynamics is relevant to welfare optimization problems involving a single decision-maker, for example, a social decision-maker maximizing a social welfare function.

2018-05-18

Women Political Leaders, Corruption and Learning: Evidence from a Large Public Program in India

We use the nation-wide policy of randomly allocating village council headships to women to identify the impact of female political leadership on the governance of projects implemented under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India. Using primary survey data, we find more program inefficiencies and leakages in village councils reserved for women heads: political and administrative inexperience make such councils more vulnerable to bureaucratic capture. When using a panel of audit reports, governance improves as female leaders accumulate experience.

2018-05-18

Why Are fewer married women working in rural India? A decomposition analysis over two decades

 Abstract 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.

2018-05-18

Gender Differences in Health Expenditure of Rural Cancer Patients: Evidence from a Public Tertiary Care Facility in India

This paper investigates if there are gender differences in health expenditures and treatment seeking behavior among cancer patients and finds that the results are consistent with gender discrimination. Using a survey on rural patients suffering from cancer in a public tertiary health center in an Indian state Odisha, the study finds that expenditures on female patients are significantly lesser than those on males. Even after controlling for other covariates, in particular the type of cancer, demographic and socio-economic variables, 73% of the difference persists.

2018-05-18

Global warming and local air pollution have reduced wheat yields in India

We use regression analysis on data from 208 districts over the period 1981–2009 to examine the impact of temperature and solar radiation (affected by pollution from aerosols) on wheat yields in India. We find that a 1 °C increase in average daily maximum and minimum temperatures tends to lower yields by 2–4% each. A 1% increase in solar radiation increases yields by nearly 1%. Yields are estimated to be about 5.2% lower than they would have been if temperatures had not increased during the study period.

2018-05-18

Ecological Restoration and Livelihood: Contribution of Planted Mangroves as Nursery and Habitat for Artisanal and Commercial Fishery

Restoration of degraded and depleted mangrove habitats and planting of mangroves over coastal mudflats is happening at many places, but there are few studies that evaluate the flow of ecosystem services from these regenerated ecosystems. The state of Gujarat in Western India has planted thousands of hectares of mangroves over the coastal mudflats and, today, the state’s mangrove cover is nearly double that in the 1930s. However, these mangroves have limiting features: for example, these are mostly single-species, Avicenna marina, and are sparse, and lack freshwater supply.

2018-05-18

Caste, Female Labor Supply, and the Gender Wage Gap in India: Boserup Revisited

The gender wage gap is notable not just for its persistence and ubiquity but also for its variation across regions and countries. A natural question is how greater workforce participation by women matters to female wages and the gender wage gap. Within India, a seeming paradox is that gender differentials in agricultural wages are the largest in southern regions of India that are otherwise favorable to women. Ester Boserup hypothesized that this is due to greater labor force participation by women in these regions.

2018-05-18

Environment & Forests Book Chapter-India- Three Year Action Plan Agenda, 2017-18 to 2019-20

The Three Year Action Agenda, a NITI Aayog document, is based on extensive discussions with and inputs from the central ministries and State governments. The Governing Council of the NITI Aayog, consisting of the Prime Minister as its Chairperson and several Union Ministers and State Chief Ministers as Members, extensively deliberated on the document in its draft form at its meeting on 23rd April 2017. 

2018-05-18

Educational Attainment and Learning in India, 2004–2012 Regional growth and sustainable development in Asia

The world’s population has doubled between 1960 and 2000 and is expected to rise further by more than two billion people by 2050. Asia will not only continue to be home to the largest share of world population, but it will also have the highest ratio of working to non-working population in the world in 2050. In this chapter we focus on one country—India—poised to be the largest individual contributor to the global working-age population of 15–64-year-olds over the coming three decades.

2017-04-21

The Political Intergenerational Welfare State

Using a three-period overlapping generations economy framework, we characterize an intergenerational welfare state with endogenous education and pension under voting. We show that although politically establishing Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) social security in isolation in a dynamically efficient economy will always reduce the capital investment and therefore the social welfare as expected, in contrast politically implementing education-pension policy package instead can improve both human and physical capital accumulation and social welfare over laissez faire.

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