Can Workfare Programs Moderate Violence? Evidence From India, EOPP Working Paper  Number 53, 2014.

Abstract: This paper seeks to answer the question, whether the Indian National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, designed as social insurance, can mitigate the effect of income shocks on insurgent violence in India and thus affect the dynamics of violence. The paper proceeds by establishing that the violence processes are functions of income or proxies of income. Exploiting variation within-district over time from a newly created conflict dataset covering the whole of India, I show that the introduction of NREGA has reduced the rainfall dependency of conflict.  This finding is robust to many ways of studying the data. I then explore whether this finding can be reconciled with the dynamics of NREGA take-up and the agricultural labour market. I show that NREGA take-up is highly rainfall-dependant; furthermore, I establish that NREGA functions as a stabiliser to agricultural wages, in light of rainfall shocks.

Download the paper here, Coverage by IGC, Ideas for India, India at LSE.

Submitted Papers

  1. The Welfare Cost of Lawlessness: Evidence from Somali Piracy, joint with Tim Besley and Hannes-Felix Mueller. Forthcoming in the Journal of the European Economics Association.
  2. Group Lending Without Joint Liability, joint with Jon de Quidt and Maitreesh Ghatak. Revised and Resubmitted at Journal of Development Economics.
  3. Market Structure and Borrower Welfare in Microfinance, joint with Jon de Quidt and Maitreesh Ghatak.

Working Papers

  1. Fracking Growth, CEP Working Paper 1278, 2014.
  2. An Urban Legend?! Power Rationing, Fertility and its Effects on Mothers, joint with Amar Shanghavi and Oliver Pardo, CEP Working Paper 1247, 2013.

Work in Progress

Energy- and Resource Economics

  1. On the Comparative Advantage of U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Shale Gas Revolution, joint with Rabah Arezki.
  2. Energy Density and Local Comparative Advantage: Shale Gas Boom and the Allocation of
    Industrial Activity
  3. The Redistributional Effects of Environmental Policy: Evidence from Germany joint with Guo Xu and Christian Westermeier.

Development Economics

  1. The Persistent effects of Private vs. Colonial Rule: Evidence from 19th century Indonesia, joint with Priya Mukherjee
  2. Hot Heads: Temperature, Income Shocks and Crime in India, joint with Jon Colmer and Benjamin Guin.
  3. Estimating Travel Cost through Mobile Phone Use Data, joint Rabah Arezki (IMF), Jorge Antonio Chan-Lau (IMF) and Amadou Sy (Brookings). Proposal selected as part of the Orange Data for Development Senegal Challenge.
  4. Developing a Micro-Level Conflict Data Set for South Asia