Working Papers:

 "Benefits to Agriculture from an Afforestation Program: Evidence from India" with Dylan Brewer and Matthew Oliver, Under review

Abstract:  Afforestation is a popular strategy to mitigate climate change. When successful, afforestation programs can produce important co-benefits beyond carbon sequestration, which have significant implications for the net social benefit of carbon abatement through afforestation. In 2003, one of the largest afforestation programs in India was implemented in Rajasthan state. Using a yearly, district-level panel from 1997 to 2017, we estimate the effects of this program on the agricultural sector using two-way fixed effects and synthetic difference-in-differences approaches. Our findings suggest that the afforestation program led to robust, statistically significant increases in rainfall and agricultural production, area, and yield. We discuss the implications of our findings for afforestation as a climate mitigation strategy.

Agricultural marketing in India has been centralized and regulated by state governments. In 2006, the Indian state of Bihar decided to move away from government intervention in the agricultural supply chain, such as through regulated marketplaces, to promote private investment and free trade. The aim was to encourage more competition in the agricultural sector, which would lead to a higher surplus for farmers. Using the two-way fixed-effects estimation model, we found evidence that reform had no significant effect on the area under cultivation; however, the yields increased significantly. The increase in agricultural credit post-reforms indicates that private investments in the marketplace may have accelerated the application of better inputs and increased farm mechanization in the production process. Consequently, the reduction in demand for field labor led to lower wages for field laborers. We discuss policy imperatives in light of new evidence on farmers' response to private investment in the agricultural sector. 

"Effect of choice of marketing channel on economic surplus for farmers in India" with Ashok Mishra and Stefan Hirsch Under review

Farmers in emerging economies like India sell farm output through several marketing outlets. At the same time, in the interest of food security and poverty alleviation, the Indian government encourages farmers to produce various agricultural products by setting minimum support prices (MSP) under the agricultural policy. The government procures 23 agricultural commodities through government agencies at the MSP. This study investigates how the choice of farmers’ marketing channels affects farm performance. We implement an instrumental variable approach to address endogeneity in choosing a marketing channel. Using a large sample of nationally-representative panel data from India, our results show that government buying agencies grant farmers higher bargaining power and, as a result, increase farmers’ total sales value. In particular, farmers who sell their products to government buying agencies doubled their sales value compared to farmers who use private marketing channels. Robustness checks show that the magnitude of the impact varies with farm size and the social classification of farmers in India. 

"The effect of mass layoffs on related industries: Evidence from a mining ban in Indiawith Dylan Brewer (draft available upon request)

"Effect of air pollution on labor supply decisions of the married individuals" (draft available upon request)

"Environmental Shocks and Agriculture: Implications of Floods on Labor Market Outcomes" with Jayash Paudel and Ashok Mishra (draft available upon request)

Work in Progress: 

"Alchohol consumption and labor market"

"Effect of women in parliament on poverty and inequality with Chandan K. Jha"

"Banking reforms and labor markets in India"

"Crop damage and food security"

"Determinants of Migration"