job-market paper

"Fracking, farmers, and rural electrification in India"
draft coming soon

Why does large-scale rural electrification foster economic growth and development in some settings but not others? We combine two natural experiments in India within a regression discontinuity design to shed light on this question. Smallholders in northwestern India grow the vast majority of the world's guar, a crop that yields a potent thickening agent used in hydraulic-fracturing ("fracking") fluid. In response to the United States' fracking boom, Indian guar prices increased by nearly 1,000 percent between 2006 and 2010. Leveraging population-based discontinuities in the contemporaneous roll-out of India's massive rural electrification scheme, we show that access to grid electricity led to large increases in non-agricultural employment (primarily for women) in villages in the booming guar-growing regions of India. We provide suggestive evidence that this is driven by the growth of complementary non-agricultural firms in electrified areas. In contrast, we find we no discernible change in labor-market outcomes in electrified villages in the rest of the country. Our findings highlight that the ultimate success of resource-intensive infrastructure depends crucially on local economic conditions and contexts.

peer-reviewed publications

The Price of Purity: Willingness to pay for air and water purification technologies in Rajasthan, India. Environmental and Resource Economics, in press. With A Shannon, M Jeuland, and S Pattanayak.
🔑 Ungated  🔒 Gated

What are households willing to pay for improved water access? Results from a meta-analysis. Ecological Economics 136, 2017, 126-135. With G Van Houtven, S Pattanayak, and J-C Yang.
🔑 Ungated  🔒 Gated

Can economic incentives enhance adoption and use of a household energy technology? Evidence from a pilot study in Cambodia. Environmental Research Letters 12(3), 2017, 035009. With J Steele and M Jeuland.
🔑 Ungated 

working papers

NGOs and the effectiveness of interventions. UNU-WIDER Working Paper № 2018/59, 2018. With M Jeuland and S Pattanayak.

Preferences and the effectiveness of behavior-change interventions. 2018. With M Jeuland, S Pattanayak, and J-S Tan-Soo. Submitted.

Cooking up Change in the Himalayas: Experimental evidence on cookstove promotion. Duke Environmental and Energy Economics Working Paper № 16-03, 2016. With S Pattanayak,  M Jeuland, J Lewis, V Bhojvaid, N Brooks, A Kar, L Lipinski, L Morrison, O Patange, N Ramanathan, I Rehman, R Thadani, M Vora, and V Ramanathan. Under review.

in progress

Evaluating the effectiveness of household energy interventions in rural Senegal using experimental and quasi-experimental methods
With M JeulandL LenzS Mbaye, O Ndiaye, J Peters, and M Sievert

Energy and development: A systematic review. With S Childress, T R Fetter, H Girardeau, C Graovac, M Jeuland, Y Li, E Litzow, L Masatsugu, and S Pattanayak.