Rohini Somanathan is a professor of Economics at the Delhi School of Economics. She received her PhD in 1996 from Boston University and held faculty positions at Emory University, the University of Michigan and the Indian Statistical Institute before joining the Delhi School of Economics in 2005. Her research focuses on how social institutions interact with public policies to shape patterns of economic and social inequality. She is particularly interested in exploring the intellectual and ideological environment within which state policy is created and justified. Within the broad area of development economics, she has worked on group identity and public goods, access to microfinance, child nutrition programs and environmental health. As part of her professional and other activities, she is on the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association, on the governing body of the Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research and a trustee of the NGO SRIJAN. She has also been part of the annual consultations on the Budget in the Ministry of Finance in India. Webpage: Click here
Susan Godlonton is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Williams College and a non-resident research affiliate of the Markets, Trade and Institutions division at the International Food Policy Res
Theme: “SLWM for Building Resilience against Climate Uncertainty” Mekelle University and the Environment and Climate Research Center (ECRC) at the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI), invites all interested researchers and graduate students to submit abstracts by 30 September 2016.
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to attempt to investigate farmer's positional concerns in rural China, and how the positional concerns correlate with household expenditures on visible goods. Design/methodology/approach: The authors conduct a survey-based experiment to measure farmers' positional concerns, and employ econometric models to examine the determinants of the degree of positional concern and how the positional concern affects household expenditures on visible goods.
Automobile usage and urban rail transit expansion: Evidence from a natural experiment in Beijing, China
Using individual travel diary data collected before and after a rail transit expansion in urban Beijing, the impact of urban rail accessibility improvement on the usage of rail transit, automobiles, buses, walking and bicycling, as well as the cross-area externality induced by congestion alleviation, is estimated. The results show that rail transit usage significantly increased for commuters residing in the affected areas and that the additional rail passengers were previously auto users, rather than bus passengers.
Equity concerns have been an important obstacle to adopting congestion pricing, in both developed and developing countries. However, the existing evidence on the equity effects of congestion pricing has come only from developed countries. In this paper, we shed light on the distributional consequences of a congestion pricing scheme currently under consideration in Beijing. We find that under this scheme, which covers the areas within the city's third ring road, a very small proportion of motorized trips would be subject to the full congestion charge.
Congestion plays a central role in urban and transportation economics. Existing estimates of congestion costs rely on stated or revealed preferences studies. We explore a complementary measure of congestion costs based on self-reported happiness. Exploiting quasi-random variation in daily congestion in Beijing that arises because of superstitions about the number four, we estimate a strong effect of daily congestion on self-reported happiness.
Previous studies on improved cook stove adoption in developing countries use cross-sectional data, which make it difficult to control for unobserved heterogeneity and investigate what happens to adoption over time. We use robust non-linear panel data and hazard models on three rounds of panel data from urban Ethiopia to investigate the determinants of adoption and disadoption of electric cook stoves over time.
Unlike most studies of subjective well-being in developing countries, we use a fixed effects regression on three rounds of rich panel data to investigate the impact of relative standing on life satisfaction of respondents in urban Ethiopia.
Uncertainty about the future is an important determinant of well-being, especially in developing countries where financial markets and other market failures result in ineffective insurance mechanisms. However, separating the effects of future uncertainty from realised events, and then measuring the impact of uncertainty on utility, presents a number of empirical challenges.
Using data spanning 15 years, we study subjective and consumption poverty in urban Ethiopia. Despite rapid economic growth and declining consumption poverty, subjective poverty remains largely unchanged.
The world has experienced dramatic food price inflation in recent years, which sparked social unrest and riots in various developing countries. In this paper, we use a novel approach to measure the impact of food price inflation on subjective well-being of urban households in Ethiopia, a country which exhibited one of the highest rates of food price inflation during 2007–2008.
The authors use panel data from rural Ethiopia to investigate if participation in a safety net program enhances fertilizer adoption. Using a difference-in-difference estimator and inverse propensity score weighting they find that participation in Ethiopia’s food-for-work program increased fertilizer adoption.
We use survey data to investigate how urban households in Ethiopia coped with the food price shock in 2008. Qualitative data indicate that the high food price inflation was by far the most adverse economic shock between 2004 and 2008, and that a significant proportion of households had to adjust food consumption in response. Regression results indicate that households with low asset levels, and casual workers, were particularly adversely affected by high food prices.
In this paper we use farmers' actual experiences with changes in rainfall levels and their responses to these changes to assess if patterns of fertilizer use are responsive to changes in rainfall patterns.