Work In Progress

Parents' Schooling and Intergenerational Human Capital: Evidence from India

Revise and Resubmit (Second Round), Journal of Human Resources

This paper estimates the direct and intergenerational effects of one of the world’s largest school expansion policies. Starting in 1993-94, the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) constructed over 100,000 new schools and served over 50 million children in India. Using a fuzzy regression discontinuity design I show that the policy increased enrollment, literacy and years of education for both male and female direct beneficiaries. Further, I find that children whose mothers were DPEP beneficiaries had higher scores on vernacular (18 percent), math (13 percent), and English (15 percent) tests, while Father’s DPEP exposure had no effect on children’s learning.

Ideas4India blog

What You Learned by Second Grade Matters - A Comparative Study in Madagascar and Senegal

with Heidi Kalia and David Sahn

Revise and Resubmit (Second Round), Journal of African Economies

Mental Health and Education: Average and Distributional Effects in the Long Run

with Yanan Li


In 1986, China implemented a Compulsory Schooling Law (CSL) which made it mandatory for all school age children to complete nine years of education. We use the temporal and geographic variation in the implementation of this law in a regression discontinuity design to estimate its effect on long-term psychological well-being of beneficiaries. Our results indicate that beneficiary cohorts had 0.6 years of additional education. Almost three decades later, these cohorts scored around two points (16 percent of the mean) lower on a clinical measure of depression, while they were 19 p.p. (65 percent of the mean) less likely to be depressed (severe mental distress). This disproportionate effect on the probability of being depressed is because of the relatively large impact of the CSL policy on people with worse mental health – we establish this through a variety of distributional analyses. Also, we find that women and rural residents show higher gains, both in educational and psychological well-being. The mental health effects plausibly operate through improved physical health and positive assortative matching in the marriage market. These findings add to the evidence on the positive effect of education on health outcomes by bringing forth novel evidence of mental health benefits in a developing country context.

Health Insurance and Infant Mortality: Evidence from India

with Anaka Aiyar


Recent evidence from low- and middle-income countries on the effect of health insurance provision on child health provide mixed results. We bring novel evidence based on a national health insurance policy in India. We leverage the temporal and spatial variation in policy implementation to demonstrate that programme regions had lower rates of infant mortality (5 percent). The effects are largely concentrated among girls and infants in poorer households. The observed findings are plausibly driven by increases in usage of maternal and child health related services. Since a majority of these services are ubiquitously available and are free (or highly subsidized) in India, our findings indicate that provision of health insurance can alleviate budgetary constraints imposed by miscellaneous expenses associated with accessing health services.

Obesity-Education Gradient among Women: Evidence from two African countries

with Averi Chakrabarti


For more details, contact me at

Decision Fatigue among Primary Care Providers in Sub-Saharan Africa

with Jessica Cohen and Wei Chang

In preparation

Please write to me at for more details. Thanks!

For the latest drafts of any paper, please contact me at Thank you!