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Research to manage the Environment for Development

Recent publications


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


    The role of institutions in community wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe

    Institutions play a significant role in stabilising large-scale cooperation in common pool resource management. Without restrictions to govern human behaviour, most natural resources are vulnerable to overexploitation. This study used a sample size of 336 households and community-level data from 30 communities around Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, to analyse the relationship between institutions and biodiversity outcomes in community-based wildlife conservation. Our results suggest a much stronger effect of institutions on biodiversity


    In Search of Urban Recreational Ecosystem Services in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

    In sub-Saharan Africa, urban recreational ecosystem services are browning and disappearing despite the global recognition of their importance. We study the availability, preference, and determinants of visitations to urban recreational ecosystem services in Dar es Salaam. The results show that, amongst the functioning and publicly owned recreational ecosystem services, there are botanical gardens and other open green spaces with greenery (e.g., trees, grass, or gardens) and sometimes with basic facilities such as benches.


    Climate-Smart Agricultural Practices and Welfare of Rural Smallholders in Ethiopia: Does Planting Method Matter?

    The purpose of this study is to provide empirical evidence on the impact of a climate-smart agricultural practice (row planting) on the welfare of rural households. Data collected from 260 households in the North Wollo Zone of Ethiopia were analyzed using Propensity Score Matching (PSM) and a semi-parametric Local Instrumental Variable (LIV) version of the generalized Roy model. The results from the PSM revealed that adoption of row planting technology has a positive and significant impact on per capita consumption and on crop income per hectare.


    Adaptándose a la escasez de agua en comunidades rurales del corredor seco Centroamericano: Análisis de costo-beneficio para mejorar la provisión de agua potable en la comunidad de Maraxco, Chiquimula, Guatemala.

    Esta investigación analizó un conjunto de hogares que experimentan escasez de agua para consumo doméstico en la comunidad Maraxco en Chiquimula, Guatemala. Históricamente, esta comunidad ha estado bajo condiciones de sequías prolongadas. Estas condiciones han contribuido sustancialmente a reducir la capacidad del sistema comunitario de agua de satisfacer las necesidades de esta comunidad. En esta investigación se identificó y estimó los costos económicos de las distintas medidas de adaptación (también llamadas defensivas) implementadas por los hogares ante la escasez de agua (p.ej.