Centre for Economic Performance
London School of Economics
London WC2A 2AE
I am a PhD candidate, and Fellow in the Department of Economics, at the London School of Economics. My research focusses on the intersection of Development and Environmental Economics with topics in Labour Economics, Trade, and Industrial Organisation.
- Growth and Development,
- Energy and Environmental Economics,
- Labour Economics,
- Productivity and Innovation,
- Economic Geography and Trade,
- Public Policy.
- Winner of the FEEM Award 2013 (Young Economist Prize awarded by the European Economic Association).
Selected Work In Progress:
The Productivity Effects of Labour Reallocation: Evidence from India
How does the reallocation of labour across sectors affect productivity and wages in the destination, and what does this imply about the allocation of talent in the local economy? I estimate that reductions in the demand for agricultural workers result in a reallocation of workers into the manufacturing sector with a corresponding increase in production and employment. In addition, this reallocation is associated with an increase in productivity (TFP and output per worker) and average wages, suggesting that talent is misallocated across sectors. However, a decomposition of this result shows that the average wage of casual workers decrease, consistent with a model in which workers are able to move freely within skill groups, but where labour market frictions impede the movement of labour between skill groups. Consequently, understanding and relaxing the constraints that impede the movement of workers between skill groups should increase aggregate productivity.
Uncertainty, Child Labour, and Human Capital Accumulation (New Version Forthcoming)
(FEEM Award Winner 2013)
How does economic uncertainty affect human capital accumulation in developing countries? I explore the effects of income uncertainty on the child labour and schooling decisions of smallholder farmers in rural Ethiopia. An increase in uncertainty is associated with an increase the number of hours children spend working on the farm, while reducing the number of hours spent on domestic chores. This results in a change in the composition, rather than the total amount, of time allocated to child labour. Consistent with this intensive margin adjustment, there is no significant impact of contemporaneous uncertainty on human capital accumulation. However, an increase in economic uncertainty at the time when educational decisions are first being made is associated with an increase in the time spent on child labour, as well as the likelihood that children do not attend school, at the time of the survey -- a persistent effect. These results suggest that economic conditions at the time when children first reach school age can have a significant, and persistent, impact on human capital accumulation in developing countries.
Consumption Smoothing and the Welfare Cost of Uncertainty (New Version Forthcoming)
with Yonas Alem
When agents are unable to smooth consumption and have distorted beliefs about the likelihood of future income realisations, uncertainty about future states of the world has a direct effect on individual welfare. However, separating the effects of uncertainty from realised events, and identifying the welfare effects of uncertainty, presents a number of empirical challenges. Combining individual-level panel data from rural and urban Ethiopia with high-resolution meteorological data we estimate the empirical relevance of uncertainty on objective consumption and subjective well-being. While negative income shocks affect both objective consumption measures and subjective well-being, greater income uncertainty, only has an affect on subjective well-being. A one standard deviation change in income uncertainty is equivalent to a one standard deviation change in realised consumption. These results indicate that the welfare gains from further consumption smoothing are substantially greater than estimates based solely on consumption fluctuations.