Working Papers

State Rights over Water and Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from the Krishna Basin  [Full Text (Revise and Resubmit, Economic Development and Cultural Change)

The Impact of Temporary Work Guarantee Programs on Children's Education: Evidence from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act from India (with Abhilasha Singh) [Full Text] (Under Review)

                     Political Reservation for Women and Delivery of Public Works Program (with Nayana Bose) [Full Text] (new version) (Submitted)
In this paper, we examine the impact of political reservations for women on NREGA, India's largest public works program. The 73rd Amendment to the Indian Constitution mandated for one third of the Panchayats to be randomly assigned for female leaders in the village council. Using detailed data on Panchayat elections, employment and public works expenditure for 9 districts in Uttar Pradesh, we find a significant increase in the demand for work under the program but find no effect in the actual take up of work by both men and women. Further, we find mixed evidence with respect to the type of works taken up by female leaders versus their male counterparts. Our study thus adds to the literature on public works distribution under female leaders.

                   Women's Inheritance Rights, Household Allocation and Gender Bias (with Nayana Bose)

This paper examines the effects of empowering women with increased rights to property on human capital accumulation and intra-household allocation towards girls. The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act of 2005 extended ancestral property rights to unmarried daughters, however, five southern states in India had already passed the same amendment by 1994. Employing a difference-in-difference strategy, we find that the policy significantly increased women's education, on average, by 0.72 years of schooling. The effect, however, is concentrated among the younger cohorts rather than the older cohorts. We further find that daughters of mothers who were less than 10 years of age at the time of the reform, significantly gain 0.44 years of education. Examining various consumption categories, we find no significant effect on household expenditure patterns as a result of the reforms.

           Works in Progress
                   Impact of NREGA on agriculture and farmer suicide

                   Improving access to water through water allocation and NREGA works

         Permanent Working Paper
        What is the Return to Attending a Non-Elite Private College? (with Scott Imberman) [Full Text]