Evaluating efficiency gains from tenancy reform targeting a heterogeneous group of sharecroppers: Evidence from India (with Takashi Kurosaki and Saumik Paul), Center for Economic Institutions Working Paper Series No. 2016-10, 2016. Download
This paper reevaluates the effect of a tenancy reform, popularly known as Operation Barga, on agricultural productivity in West Bengal, India. We employ a transparent empirical strategy based on synthetic control. We focus on the varying intensity of Operation Barga across West Bengal districts by comparing the districts’ agricultural productivity with that of counterfactual districts using the synthetic control approach. Concerns over agro-climatic diversity and the recorded history of land reforms were also addressed while creating counterfactual districts. We find robust empirical evidence of a negligible effect on agricultural productivity growth. Next, we consider a theoretical framework to estimate the potential gains from Operation Barga in light of several types of sharecroppers. Consistent with the empirical findings, we conclude that the capacity of Operation Barga to enhance agricultural productivity is heavily constrained by the heterogeneity of sharecroppers in terms of wealth and livelihood structure.
The effects of the three-point rule in individual sports: Evidence from chess (with Lee Yoong Hon and Kung Ming Tiong), MPRA Paper No. 71060, 2016. Download
We examine the effects of the three-point rule in individual sports. We consider chess in which most tournaments use the standard rule while some tournaments use the Bilbao rule, which is identical to the three-point rule in soccer: We observe the same pairs of chess players playing under both rules, a research design that fits fixed-effect models. We find the Bilbao rule makes games 33 percent more decisive, mostly to white players’ advantage who win 50 percent more games. We identify two mechanisms why the Bilbao rule works: It encourages players to play longer and discourages them from using drawish openings. These results suggest incentive schemes like the three-point rule work in individual sports in which efforts and financial rewards are directly linked and game dynamics and strategic interactions among teammates and with opponents are less complex.
Does education increase political participation? Evidence from Indonesia, MPRA Paper No. 70326, 2016. Download
I examine whether education increases voter turnout and makes better voters using an exogenous variation in education induced by an extension of Indonesia’s school term length, which fits a fuzzy regression discontinuity design. The longer school year increases education, but I do not find evidence that education makes people more likely to vote in elections or changes whether they consider political candidates’ religion, ethnicity, or gender important when they vote. If anything, education seems to make voters more likely to think candidates’ development programs are important.
Social health insurance improves women’s healthcare use: Evidence from Indonesia (with Shanika Samarakoon), MPRA Paper No. 61504, 2015. Download
To improve the poor’s access to healthcare services, the Indonesian government introduced Askeskin, a subsidized social health insurance for the poor. We examine the effects of this social health insurance on women’s use of healthcare—maternal, preventive, and curative healthcare—services. Using propensity- score- and difference-in-differences matching strategies, we find the insurance increases the use of public facilities for maternal healthcare, discourages the use of midwives’ services, and increases the use of contraception; it does not seem to increase the use of preventive and curative care, however.
Investors are unwilling to pay for corporate social responsibility activities: Evidence from India’s Companies Act 2013 (with Saumik Paul), MPRA Paper No. 61360, 2015. Download
We examine the effects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities on the values of firms. Using a non-parametric regression discontinuity design, exploiting a natural experiment induced by India’s Companies Act 2013, we find investors devalue the stocks of firms that do CSR activities by 2-5%, which suggests investors are unwilling to pay for CSR activities.
Married men with children may stop working when their wives emigrate to work: Evidence from Sri Lanka (with Vengadeshvaran Sarma), MPRA Paper No. 60752, 2014. Download
We examine what happens to Sri Lankan men’s labour supply when their wives emigrate to work and leave the husbands and children at home—the effects of maternal migration on the husbands’ labour supply. Using sibling sex-composition of a household as an instrumental variable for the household’s number of children in three-stage least-square estimations, we find maternal migration reduces the husbands’ labour supply. The husbands are more likely to exit the labour market and become unemployed; the employed are less likely to moonlight and have lower wages; those that exit the labour market are more likely to become stay-at-home dads.
Growth volatility and trade: Evidence from the 1967-1975 closure of the Suez Canal, MPRA Paper No. 39040, 2012. Download
This paper examines the effects of trade on economic growth and growth volatility. Using the 1967-1975 closure of the Suez Canal as an instrument for trade, I find that trade leads to higher economic growth, and lower probability of recession or economic slowdown. There is no evidence that trade reduces growth volatility, however.