Job Market Paper World Bank Blog

This paper examines the impact of a national-level school construction program in India on educational outcomes of direct beneficiaries and their children. Between the years 1993 and 2004, the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) served over 50 million children and prioritized districts with below-average female literacy rates. This structure facilitates a fuzzy regression discontinuity design that estimates the causal impact of the programme by comparing outcomes of school-age children in districts on either side of the average female literacy cutoff. To uncover the difference in timing of programme implementation across districts, I use unique archival information that I collected and digitized. The results show that DPEP increased school access, enrollment, literacy and years of education for both male and female students. I then provide one of the first evidence of intergenerational effects of a school construction policy. Using test score data spanning the years 2007-2014, I find that children whose mothers were DPEP beneficiaries had higher scores on math (0.18 S.D.), vernacular (0.19 S.D.) and English (0.09 S.D.) tests. Daughters’ test scores went up by more than 10 to 15 percent- age points higher than that of sons. On the other hand, father’s DPEP exposure had no effect on children’s learning. I find evidence that the intergenerational impacts may be mediated through mother’s increased bargaining power, higher investments in children’s education and better health/health related behaviors.

Published Papers

[2] "Transitioning towards Nutrition Sensitive Food Systems in Developing Countries- A Review" (with Prabhu Pingali) Annual Review of Resource Economics, 2017, Vol.9:439-459 (Cornell Blog)

Under Review at Journals

[3] "Marriage Age, Social Status and Intergenerational Effects in Uganda" (Revised and Resubmitted, Demography)

[4] "Arriving at a Decision: A Semi-Parametric Approach to Institutional Birth Choice in India" (with Prateek Bansal & Ricardo Daziano) (Revised and Resubmitted, Journal of Choice Modelling)

[5] "What You Learned by Second Grade Matters- A Comparative Study on Human Capital Formation in Madagascar and Senegal" (with Heidi Kaila & David Sahn) IZA Working Paper No.11550 ; World Bank Blog

[6] "Income Shocks, Educational Investments and Child Work" (with Christophe Nordman & Smriti Sharma)

[7] "Gender Imbalances in Diets in India" (with Soumya Gupta & Prabhu Pingali) (Draft available on request)

[8] "Market Access, Production Diversity and Diet Diversity: Evidence from India" (with Soumya Gupta & Prabhu Pingali) (Draft available on request)

Works in Progress

[9] "Smoking in Madagascar & Senegal" (with David Sahn) (Draft available on request)

[10] "Impact of School Construction on Long-Term of Health Outcomes in India" (Working on preliminary draft)

[11] "Maternal Education, Literacy and Child Mortality- Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa" (Preliminary draft ready - available on request)