Learning together: Experimental evidence on the impact of group-based nutrition interventions in rural Bihar

(with Kalyani Raghunathan, Neha Kumar, Shivani Gupta, Ashi Kohli Kathuria and Purnima Menon). World

Development, August 2023, 168: 106267.

Job Market Paper

Bank account ownership and women's intrahousehold bargaining power in India

Email for latest draft. 

Invited Talks:

Working Paper

(My second year paper was in the area of political economy and local adaptation to natural hazards and climate change.)

Do political motivations affect recovery from natural hazards? Analysis of floods in India 

Abstract: Adaptation to climate change and natural hazards is driven by government’s efforts to mitigate risk, direct resources and mobilize relief efforts. In low-income countries where governments have limited resources to finance adaptation, they are likely focus their assistance to a smaller region. Do elected leaders target the most vulnerable populations or use this as an opportunity to increase their political gains? If so, do they prioritize their supporters? I test the effect of affiliation to the state government on the economic recovery of state assembly constituencies in India from floods. Using a two-way fixed effects ordinary least squares estimation and regression discontinuity analysis, I find no systematic differences in the recovery of flooded constituencies in six states during 2008-13 based on their affiliation to the ruling party. Studying the governments’ response is of growing importance as climate change increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather events. In addition, the welfare consequences of strategic relief provision are severe in a low-income country such as India where floods are widespread and recurring.

 Email for latest draft. 


Works in progress

Extreme temperature and intimate partner violence (IPV): Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

Abstract: In the recent years, consistent increase in global temperatures and changing weather patterns has most severely affected Sub-Saharan Africa where agriculture is the largest employer and there is limited technology adoption to combat weather fluctuations. The paper sheds light on the effect of extreme temperature on intrahousehold dynamics and women’s well-being through temperature-induced aggression from their male partner. I combine nationally representative household surveys collecting women's outcomes with remote sensing data estimating surface level temperature data to report positive correspondence between rising temperature and the incidence and frequency of IPV. Related papers find that drought is likely to increase incidence of IPV.


Minimum wages, gender norms and women's experience of intimate partner violence

Abstract: The theory of IPV in a household bargaining model predicts that improvement in earnings relative to men could decrease violence if it lowers tolerance for violence and improves women's outside option or increase male backlash and use of violence for resource extraction. This paper seeks to test the effect of an income-improving policy instrument expected to disproportionately affect women's earnings on changes in attitudes towards and experience of IPV. I study the 2013 minimum wage increase in the ready-made garment industry that is the largest employer of women in the manufacturing sector (55.4\% of non-agricultural employment, Economic Census 2013) in Bangladesh. Results are forthcoming.