Rupaly Tamuly, Pranab Mukhopadhyay
We provide first estimates of the impact of cumulative natural disasters on well-being in India disaggregated by social and economic groups. We use a nationally representative panel data set in a difference in difference model with fixed effects at the household level and a continuous treatment. We use monthly consumption expenditure adjusted for health expenditure as an indicator of well-being. We find that natural disasters have a consistent and significant negative impact on consumption across all social and economic groups. We also find that assets, health insurance, membership in groups, and the number of married females in the household are positive and significant. On the other hand, conflict intensity, number of persons in the household, the proportion of children in the household and public project intensity have a negative and significant coefficient.
In the disaggregated results some variables provide consistent results across all caste groups and economic quintiles among the covariates. Among them are Assets owned by households, membership intensity and health insurance which positively impact on consumption. At the same time, the number of persons in the household and the proportion of children in the household have a negative and significant impact.
Social capital too influences consumption. We find that conflict intensity has a significant and negative impact on consumption for some caste and economic groups, but not all. Some variables provided mixed results like public project intensity, number of married females, among others.
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Sunil Khosla, Pradyot Ranjan Jena
Social protection (SP) programs have become a widespread intervention to strengthen coping strategies in developing countries to improve the well-being of vulnerable households. Past studies have identified the positive impact of SP on ex-post poverty reduction. However, there is relatively scant evidence of the role of SP in reducing vulnerability to poverty (VtP). This study estimates the role of SP, in particular, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and public distribution system (PDS) in reducing household VtP in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. Firstly, the household VtP was estimated using the feasible generalized least squares (FGLS) method. Secondly, the role of SP in reducing household VtP was analyzed using the quantile regression (QR) approach. This study utilizes cross-sectional data of 1506 rural households from the State of Odisha. The FGLS estimates show that the household VtP rate is 42.43% as opposed to the current poverty rate of 32.87% in the state. The QR results demonstrate that the households that participated in the MGNREGA program are less likely to fall into poverty than those without it. However, household access to the PDS is observed to have no significant association with vulnerability.
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Pradyot Ranjan Jena, Babita Majhi, Rajesh Kalli,Ritanjali Majhi
To meet the demand of the growing population, there exists pressure on food production. In this context, appropriate prediction of crop yield helps in agricultural production planning. Given the inability of the traditional linear models to provide satisfactory prediction performance, there is a need to develop a crop yield prediction model that is simple in complexity, accurate in prediction, and less time-consuming during training and validation phases. Keeping these objectives in view, the present paper focuses on building an adaptive, low complexity, and accurate nonlinear model for the prediction of crop yield. A time series dataset for the period 1991–2012 of Karnataka, a southwestern state of India, is used for yield prediction. An empirical nonlinear relation between crop yield and the four independent attributes has been obtained from the proposed ANN model. The independent attributes employed are total rainfall, the cumulative distribution of temperature, the proportion of irrigated land, and the average amount of fertilizer used. It is demonstrated that the developed model exhibits better prediction accuracy, less root mean square error in the range of 0.07–0.14, less mean square error in the range of 0.01–0.04, and mean absolute error in the range of 0.07–0.15 compared to its corresponding linear regression model. It is recommended that the proposed ANN model can also be applied to predict other agricultural products of the same or other geographical regions of the globe.
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Rajesh Kalli, Pradyot Ranjan Jena, Shunsuke Managi. February 2022. Sustainability 14(4):2450. DOI:10.3390/su14042450
Traditional fuels have both environmental and health impacts. The transition from traditional to clean cooking fuel requires significant public policy actions. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is one of the primary policies launched in India to eradicate energy poverty among households. Past studies have focused on the drivers that motivate rural households to adopt clean energy and identified the bottlenecks for adoption of clean energy in developing countries. PMUY’s success in terms of scale and pace is critical in the national drive to provide access to clean energy fuel to each citizen. The present study focuses on two objectives. First, we investigate the intensity of adoption and refill of LPG under the PMUY scheme. Second, we use household and other demographic characteristics to examine the factors that influence households’ decision on using LPG as a cooking fuel. Empirical results show that rapid growth has been witnessed in the provision of subsidized LPG connections. However, the annual average refill status stands at two LPG cylinders per beneficiary household indicating that the majority of the beneficiaries have failed to refill their LPG cylinders. This imbalance between rapid enrollment of LPG and limited refill among beneficiary households indicate the continued usage of traditional sources of energy for cooking. From the primary survey conducted in the rural tribal communities of Odisha, we observe that household income and education played a significant role in adoption of LPG and continued usage of LPG gas. Additionally, the logit and ordered probit models identify that membership in self-help groups, accessibility and awareness of LPG are the major adoption drivers. In conclusion, policy makers need to address the challenge of refill status among PMUY consumers. Further, educating households on health benefits through SHG and creating accessibility at village level can actively increase the usage of LPG
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Indranil De, Rooba Hasan, Mubashshir Iqbal. Sustainability 14(7):3913. DOI:10.3390/su14073913
This review article attempts to analyse the social issues that impact the performance of natural treatment systems (NTSs). An NTS is a decentralised wastewater treatment system found to be appropriate in developing countries due to its affordability and lower technicity. However, if socio-economic and institutional issues of community are ignored then NTSs may turn out to be unsuitable for developing countries. The article also takes a critical view on the extant literature which ignores the social cost of NTSs. The social cost of NTSs may be high as a decentralised system requires the engagement of various governmental agencies, research institutes and the community. The cost of engagement may make NTSs a socio-economically unattractive proposition. The article discusses the variables to be considered for the social cost-benefit analysis. It also discusses the implications of social cost-benefit analysis for appreciating the incentives and net benefits for collective actions at the community level. Social cost-benefit analysis can help overcome the initial difficulty of high financial cost and usher sustainability.
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Rajesh Kalli, Pradyot Ranjan Jena China Agricultural Economic Revie ISSN: 1756-137X
Article publication date: 27 January 2022, Issue publication date: 22 March 2022
Climate change is the most concerned issue in the global economy; increase in climate variability and uncertain climate events have caused distress in agriculture sector. The study estimates economic effect of climate change on agriculture income for the Indian state of Karnataka. The study reports the difference of result from past studies, where estimates from present study indicate higher negative impact of rise in temperature.
Fixed effect panel regression method was used to examine change in agriculture revenue to climate response. Climate variables were classified based on the crop calendar to capture the damage caused by climate change. The authors use fine scale climate data set constructed at regional context for 20 districts and time period of 21 years (1992–2012).
The result showed that with 1-degree rise in average maximum temperature, the revenue declined by 17–21%. The prediction behavior of the different models was evaluated using out-of-sample forecast approach by training and testing historical data set.
The study adopts recent data sets on agriculture and the updated climate variables to estimate the climate change impact on agriculture. The study yields the better results when compared to previous traditional models applied in literature in Indian context. The study further evaluates the prediction behavior and robustness of the estimated models using out-of-sample forecast method.
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Shyamasree Dasgupta, Joyashree Roy, Monalisa Ghosh, Jayanta Talukder, Willingness to pay (WTP) for arsenic-safe drinking water: A case study to understand societal embedding of ECAR technology in rural West Bengal, India, Development Engineering, Volume 7, 2022, 100096, ISSN 2352-7285
This paper analyzes users’ willingness to pay (WTP) for safe drinking water in a resource-poor region in West Bengal, India, with dangerously high groundwater arsenic concentrations. The study was carried out during the installation of an Electro Chemical Arsenic Remediation (ECAR) water treatment plant at the site. Using a contingent valuation method, the study elicits WTP, based on a stratified random sample of 1003 households. Arsenic is invisible and odorless, and related health risks have a prolonged latency period. As a result, awareness about arsenic and the perceived benefits of any arsenic remediation technology are low. In the study area, only 21% of respondents were aware of the danger of high arsenic concentrations in groundwater, however, a large number of the respondents reported irregularity of drinking water supply and a lack of quality assurance. About 64% of the respondents were willing to pay for ECAR-treated safe drinking water. Participants opting for home delivery were willing to pay more than those willing to collect water from the plant. The average WTP was high enough to recover the operational cost of the plant. Households with higher income and educational attainment, more awareness about arsenic contamination, and living in proximity to the plant were willing to pay more than the others. Regular interaction with the community, maintaining transparency, and interacting closely with the local administration created a sense of local ownership for the technology that was found to be crucial for the societal embedding of the technology.
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Purna Chandra Tanti, Pradyot Ranjan Jena, Jeetendra Prakash Aryal, Dil Bahadur Rahut,
Role of institutional factors in climate‐smart technology adoption in agriculture: Evidence from an Eastern Indian state, Environmental Challenges, Volume 7, 2022, 100498, ISSN 2667-0100
Climate change threatens rural livelihoods by adversely affecting agricultural production through reduced crop yields, harvest loss, and increased cost of production. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices have emerged as a possible solution to ensure food security by adapting to climate risks on the one hand, and mitigating GHG emissions from agriculture, on the other hand. However, resource-poor farmers often face both financial and knowledge constraints to adopt CSA practices, and thus, institutional support plays a crucial role in overcoming those barriers. Therefore, this study uses primary data collected from 248 farm households in the Eastern Indian state of Odisha to examine the role of institutional factors in CSA adoption. Almost 95% of the sample farmers experienced the effects of climate change, and many have adopted CSA practices such as rescheduling planting (78%), crop rotation (56%), crop diversification (35%), micro-irrigation (17%), and drought-resistant seeds (16%). Probit models are estimated to explore the key determinants of the adoption of these five major practices. Results show that factors such as government extension service, farmer field school participation, subsidies, access to energy, and perception of climate shocks are the major determinants. Further, the coefficient of interaction between landholding and credit availability on the decision to adopt CSA is positive. Thus, agricultural policies to improve institutional support, such as subsidies on farm machinery, extension support, credit facility, and field demonstration of technologies, are crucial to upscale CSA adoption in the region.
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Khan M. R. Taufique, Kristian S. Nielsen, Thomas Dietz, Rachael Shwom, Paul C. Stern & Michael P. Vandenbergh. Revisiting the promise of carbon labelling. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2022).
Carbon labelling systems can inform individual and organizational choices, which potentially reduce the carbon footprints of goods and services. We review the ways labelling is conceptualized and operationalized, and the available evidence on effectiveness. The literature focuses mainly on how labelling affects retail consumer behaviour, but much less on how labelling affects the behaviour of the organizations that produce, transport and sell products despite preliminary research suggesting that the effects on corporate behaviour may be substantial even without strong consumer responses. We consider key challenges for carbon labelling systems related to standard setting, data collection and use, and label design. We summarize the available knowledge, identify key research questions and identify steps towards achieving the promise of carbon labelling.
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Ray, R., Bhattacharya, A., Arora, G., Bajaj, K., Horton, K., Chen, S., Bazaz, A. 2021. Extreme rainfall deficits were not the cause of recurring colonial era famines of southern Indian semi-arid regions. Nature Scientific Reports, 11,17568. [Popular Press: Scroll.In; Mongabay; Times Of India; Deccan Herald]
Using information contained in the eighteenth to twentieth century British administrative documents, preserved in the National Archives of India (NAI), we present a 218-year (1729–1947 AD) record of socioeconomic disruptions and human impacts (famines) associated with ‘rain failures’ that affected the semi-arid regions (SARs) of southern India. By mapping the southern Indian famine record onto long-term spatiotemporal measures of regional rainfall variability, we demonstrate that the SARs of southern India repeatedly experienced famines when annual rainfall reduced by ~ one standard deviation (1 SD), or more, from long-term averages. In other words, ‘rain failures’ listed in the colonial documents as causes of extreme socioeconomic disruptions, food shortages and human distress (famines) in the southern Indian SARs were fluctuations in precipitation well within the normal range of regional rainfall variability and not extreme rainfall deficits (≥ 3 SD). Our study demonstrates that extreme climate events were not necessary conditions for extreme socioeconomic disruptions and human impacts rendered by the colonial era famines in peninsular India. Based on our findings, we suggest that climate change risk assessement should consider the potential impacts of more frequent low-level anomalies (e.g. 1 SD) in drought prone semi-arid regions.
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Feng, H., Wang, T., Hennessy, D.A., Arora, G. 2021. Over-perception about land use changes: assessing empirical evidence and linkage with decisions and biased beliefs. Land Economics.
Perception biases documented in the literature often pertain to subject matters that are difficult to observe or measure such as one’s ability. We study perception biases with respect to a concrete indicator that can be objectively measured: land use changes in a local area. We examine four hypotheses about land use change perceptions and test them with farm survey data complemented by satellite data. We discover systematic biases in farmers’ perceptions about local land use changes that are consistent with motivated beliefs, and also evidence that links perceptions with intended future land conversions. Alternative explanations and policy implications are discussed.
Kabra Asmita & Das Budhaditya, (2022) Aye for the tiger: hegemony, authority, and volition in India’s regime of dispossession for conservation, Oxford Development Studies
Dispossession of rural populations to create inviolate Protected Areas for biodiversity conservation is a shared concern in BRICS countries. This article explores the distinctive ideology, institutions, and actors that constitute the regime of dispossession for conservation (DfC) in India’s tiger reserves. It investigates the reasons for the regime’s continued stability and resilience in the neoliberal era, when land-taking for industrial development has become highly contentious. India’s conservationist state has effectively denied resource rights to the inhabitants of Tiger Reserves and displaced them through its Voluntary Relocation Scheme, which is posited as a win-win solution for tigers and tribals. The historically unequal relationship between the state and forest dwellers necessitates closely examining hegemonic processes through which volition for relocation is assembled. This article argues that the Dispossession for Conservation regime assembles volition through a complex interplay of its hegemony and authority with the unfulfilled development aspirations of India’s forest dwellers.
Please contact Professor Asmita Kabra or Dr. Budhaditya Das on ResearchGate for a PDF copy.
Rajesh Kalli, Pradyot Ranjan Jena; Combining agriculture, social and climate indicators to classify vulnerable regions in the Indian semi-arid region. Journal of Water and Climate Change 2021; jwc2021197
Climate change vulnerability is highly counter-productive for agriculture among the arid and semi-arid regions. The study constructs the agriculture vulnerability index for Karnataka, a south Indian state. The state has faced frequent climate-related shocks in the last decade. The district-wise vulnerability index is estimated using longitudinal data considering exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity as sub-indices. The results show that the districts in the north interior region of Karnataka are highly vulnerable to the climate change followed by the districts in the south interior and coastal regions. There is an urgent need to prioritize the most vulnerable districts while formulating the development policies to minimize the risk of climate change on agriculture. Specific technical knowledge and support need to be made available to the farmers for informative climate resilience action.
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Jena Pradyot Ranjan, Grote Ulrike, Do Certification Schemes Enhance Coffee Yields and Household Income? Lessons Learned Across Continents, Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, Vol. 5, 2022
While the market for sustainably certified products grows, the debate on whether smallholder farmers benefit from this certification movement is far from over. We present empirical findings across three continents. Identical household surveys were conducted among 738 smallholder coffee farmers organized in primary cooperatives in Ethiopia, India and Nicaragua. The comparative analysis which is based on the propensity score matching approach shows that the impacts of Fairtrade certification on coffee yields and income vary across countries. In Ethiopia, the coffee farmers from Fairtrade certified cooperatives fare worse than their non-certified counterparts both in coffee yield and income. In the Indian case study, the Fairtrade cooperative members have yield and price advantages over the non-certified farmers. This has in turn led to higher net revenue from coffee for certified farmers. In Nicaragua, coffee farmers from Fairtrade and double (Fairtrade-Organic) certified cooperatives also benefit in terms of net revenue but there is no statistically significant effect on yield and household income. A comparison of the Fairtrade minimum floor price and the weight-equivalent Fairtrade cooperative price in the three countries shows that Nicaraguan Fairtrade certified farmers have obtained a higher average price than the Fairtrade mandated minimum price, whereas in Ethiopia the certified farmers received a much lower price. In India, the certified average price was closer to the minimum floor price. We conclude that coffee cooperatives and the motivation and capability of their staff play a central role in training their member farmers about each aspect of coffee growing and certification.
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Edited by Geetanjoy Sahu and Sharachchandra Lele, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 56, Issue No. 52, 25 Dec, 2021
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the articles.
Mani Nepal, Apsara Karki Nepal, Madan S. Khadayat, Rajesh K. Rai, Priya Shyamsundar & E. Somanathan, Low-Cost Strategies to Improve Municipal Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from Nepal. Environ Resource Econ (2022)
Many cities in developing countries lack adequate drainage and waste management infrastructure. Consequently, city residents face economic and health impacts from flooding and waterlogging, which are aggravated by solid waste infiltrating and blocking drains. City governments have recourse to two strategies to address these problems: a) ‘hard’ infrastructure-related interventions through investment in the expansion of drainage and waste transportation networks; and/or, b) ‘soft’, low-cost behavioural interventions that encourage city residents to change waste disposal practices. This research examines whether behavioural interventions, such as information and awareness raising alongside provision of inexpensive street waste bins, can improve waste management in the city. We undertook a cluster randomized controlled trial study in Bharatpur, Nepal, where one group of households was treated with a soft, low-cost intervention (information and street waste bins) while the control group of households did not receive the intervention. We econometrically compared baseline indicators – perceived neighbourhood cleanliness, household waste disposal methods, and at-source waste segregation – from a pre-intervention survey with data from two rounds of post-intervention surveys. Results from analysing household panel data indicate that the intervention increased neighbourhood cleanliness and motivated the treated households to dispose their waste properly through waste collectors. The intervention, however, did not increase household waste segregation at source, which is possibly because of municipal waste collectors mixing segregated and non-segregated waste during collection. At-source segregation, a pre-requisite for efficiently managing municipal solid waste, may improve if municipalities arrange to collect and manage degradable and non-degradable waste separately.
Susmita Dasgupta, David Wheeler, Sunando Bandyopadhyay, Santadas Ghosh, Utpal Roy, Coastal dilemma: Climate change, public assistance and population displacement, World Development, Volume 150, 2022, 105707, ISSN 0305-750X
Linkages among climate change–related environmental stress, public assistance, and the spatial pattern of population change are assessed for neighboring coastal areas of India and Bangladesh. Environmental stress is measured using historical cyclone impacts, salinization, and land loss from erosion. Household migration decisions are based on current and expected future income streams in different locations. Rising environmental damage raises costs, but it may also induce increased public assistance that moderates or neutralizes those costs, diminishing migration incentives, even in areas hard-hit by climate change.
Econometric estimates for the Sundarbans region shared by India and Bangladesh suggest that endogenous public assistance strongly dampens the migration response to rising environmental stress in both countries, though the assistance response and migration dampening are lower in Bangladesh. A broader analysis for the coastal region from India’s Odisha State to eastern Bangladesh finds that present and past cyclone impacts are highly significant for explaining coastal population changes, although responses are lower in India because of lower environmental stress and greater public-assistance intensity. A counterfactual simulation suggests that, as a result of cyclones since 1970, the affected regions are 8–10% less populous in Bangladesh but only 2% less populous in India.
The paper’s findings motivate a discussion of the implications for alternative policy regimes as land erosion increases, and sea-level rise and salinization continue with climate change. After comparing the efficiency and equity of regimes that provide universal damage compensation or leave coastal households to fend for themselves, the paper suggests an alternative approach that focuses public resources on compensation for households that choose to relocate as the coastal threat mounts.
Shoibal Chakravarty, E. Somanathan, There is no economic case for new coal plants in India, World Development Perspectives, Volume 24, 2021, 100373, ISSN 2452-2929
India is the world’s third-largest emitter of CO2 and coal-fired power plants contribute approximately half of India’s CO2 emissions. Indian government policies assume a significant expansion of coal-fired power in India over the next two decades. This paper compares the costs of coal and renewable power, including quantifiable domestic external costs, in 2018 as well as projections for 2025. Our estimate for the environmental cost of coal is 2.4 US ¢/KWh (1.64 ₹/KWh) in the financial year 2018–19. The average cost of electricity from nearly all coal plants in India is greater than the cost of new solar and wind generators in 2018–19 when environmental costs are taken into account. More than 50% of the coal capacity has a social operating cost that is higher than the average social cost of power from renewables. By 2025, the cost of electricity from renewables with storage will be comparable to the domestic social costs of the cheapest new coal plants. We emphasize that this analysis holds without any accounting of climate change impacts in the form of a cost of carbon. There is, therefore, no economic case for new coal plants in India.
Mrinal Singha, Jinwei Dong, Quansheng Ge, Graciela Metternicht, Sangeeta Sarmah, Geli Zhang, Russell Doughty, Sharachchandra Lele, Chandrashekhar Biradar, Sha Zhou, Xiangming Xiao, Satellite evidence on the trade-offs of the food-water–air quality nexus over the breadbasket of India, Global Environmental Change, Volume 71, 2021,102394, ISSN 0959-3780
Access to food, water, and good air quality is indispensable for human life, as reflected in various United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); however, pursuing food security may pose threats to water security and/or air quality. An important case is northwest India including the Punjab and Haryana states, which is the ‘breadbasket’ of India with a significantly increasing paddy rice area. The rapid expansion of rice farming has stressed groundwater resources and impacted air quality. Satellite observations have the potential to provide data for better decisions on food security, water storage, and air pollution, which would be vital for regional sustainable development. Based on observations from multiple satellites from 2001 to 2018, we found that paddy rice expansion (+22%) increased groundwater depletion (−1.50 cm/yr), residue burning (+500%), and air pollution (+29%, PM2.5) in the breadbasket of India. Moreover, satellite observations showed changes in these interactions after the enactment of a groundwater protection policy in 2009, which decelerated groundwater depletion (−1.20 cm/yr) due to delayed rice planting and harvest dates (∼15d); the latter elevated air pollution in November (+29%, PM2.5). Our finding stresses the need to reconcile the trade-offs and consider the interactions among SDGs 2 (food), 3 (good health), 6 (clean water), and 11 (air quality in cities), in policy-making for sustainable development. An efficient crop residue ultilization and management system, bottom-up groundwater use regulations, and cropping system shift towards less water-consuming crops are critically required to resolve the trade-offs of the food-water–air quality nexus in the northern India. Our study also showcases remote sensing approaches and methods to support and aid the achievement of the SDGs and track their progreses to support regional sustainable development.
Cuadrado-Quesada, G. and Joy, K.J. 2021. The need for co-evolution of groundwater law and community practices for groundwater justice and sustainability: Insights from Maharashtra, India. Water Alternatives 14(3): 717-733
With groundwater becoming the mainstay for meeting water requirements for life and livelihoods, countries around the world are experimenting with law reforms in order to establish some guiding rules for its use, distribution and protection. A fundamental question about law reforms is the degree to which they incorporate justice and sustainability. This article, in responding to this question, focuses on Maharashtra, India. We base our response on a content analysis of the 2009 Maharashtra Groundwater (Development and Management) Act; the 2018 Maharashtra Groundwater (Development and Management Draft Groundwater Rules; 1 and a village case study. Primary data was collected in Pune, Mumbai, and Hivre Bazar village; this included an empirical analysis of 47 in-depth interviews, participation in a number of village meetings and open-ended discussions, and direct observations of groundwater practices. Our analysis led to three conclusions. First, the 2009 Groundwater Act and the 2018 Draft Groundwater Rules are primarily driven by concern for sustainability of the resource, especially in areas where the water table is steadily declining, but when it comes to groundwater justice, no proactive measures are suggested in either the 2009 Groundwater Act or the 2018 Draft Groundwater Rules. Second, there are certain core factors identified at the local level that we believe to be fundamental in facilitating sustainability and – to a lesser extent – groundwater justice. These factors include a community’s ability to: (1) acknowledge that there is a crisis and display a willingness to engage with it; (2) create a rule-bound community groundwater resource; (3) demonstrate leadership and the feeling of community; and (4) utilise awareness, information and knowledge. Our third conclusion is that there is a need for the co-evolution of community practices and state-led groundwater law; such a co-evolution has the potential to put in place arrangements around groundwater that can support both groundwater justice and sustainability.
Ruohao Zhang, Huan Li, Neha Khanna, Environmental justice and the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from New York State, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management Volume 110, October 2021, 102554
The decline in human mobility and socioeconomic activities during the COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by reports of significant improvements in air quality. We evaluate whether there was a uniform improvement in air quality across neighborhoods, with a special attention on differences by race. We focus on the COVID-19 lockdown in New York State, an early epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. Using a triple difference-in-differences model, we find that, despite the seasonal decline in particulate matter pollution starting late March (concurrent with the lockdown period), the lockdown narrowed the disparity in air quality between census tracts with high and low shares of non-white population in rural New York, whereas the racial gap in air quality remained unchanged in urban New York.
Afridi, F., Debnath, S. and Somanathan, E., 2021. A breath of fresh air: Raising awareness for clean fuel adoption. Journal of Development Economics, p.102674.
Air pollution is amongst the gravest public health concerns worldwide, and indoor sources are the largest contributors in many developing countries. In our study in central India, we randomly assigned villages to a campaign by rural public health workers to either raise awareness about the adverse health effects of smoke from cooking with solid fuels and measures to mitigate them, or combined health awareness with information on the universal cash-back LPG (liquid petroleum gas) subsidy program or a control group in which neither information is provided. Using LPG sales records, we find an insignificant effect of the campaign on the purchase of LPG refills when measured at annual frequency. However, there was an almost 13% rise in refill consumption per month in the combined treatment, accounting for seasonality, monthly price variation and unobserved sub-district heterogeneity. Self-reported electric stove use rose by almost 50%, over the baseline mean of 6%, and the probability that the household had an outlet for smoke or separate kitchen increased by about 5 percentage points due to the treatment. There was no decline in use of solid fuels at the extensive margin, but the intensity of usage fell on some measures. The findings highlight the salience of financial constraints and the importance of the design of public subsidy schemes in inducing regular usage of clean fuels.
Prathvi Thumbe Narasimha, Pradyot Ranjan Jena, Ritanjali Majhi, Impact of COVID-19 on the Indian seaport transportation and maritime supply chain, Transport Policy, Volume 110, 2021, Pages 191-203, ISSN 0967-070X
Abstract: Impacts of COVID-19 in maritime transportation and its related policy measures have been investigated by more and more organizations and researchers across the world. This paper aims to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on seaport transportation and the maritime supply chain field and its related issues in India. Secondary data are used to analyze the performance indicators of major seaports in India before and during the COVID-19 crisis. We further explore and discuss the expert’s views about the impact, preparedness, response, and recovery aspects for the maritime-related sector in India. The results on the quantitative performance of Indian major seaports during the COVID-19 indicate a negative growth in the cargo traffic and a decrease in the number of vessel traffic compared to pre-COVID-19. The expert survey results suggest a lack of preparedness for COVID-19 and the need for developing future strategies by maritime organizations. The overall findings of the study shall assist in formulating maritime strategies by enhancing supply chain resilience and sustainable business recovery process while preparing for a post-COVID-19 crisis. The study also notes that the Covid-19 crisis is still an ongoing concern, as the government, maritime organizations, and stakeholders face towards providing vaccine and remedial treatment to infected people. Further, this study can be expanded to the global maritime supply chain business context and to conduct interdisciplinary research in marine technical fields and maritime environment to measure the impact of COVID-19.
Keywords: COVID-19; India; Seaports; Maritime; Supply chain; Stakeholders; Sustainability
Somanathan, E., Somanathan, R., Sudarshan, A. and Tewari, M., 2021. The impact of temperature on productivity and labor supply: Evidence from Indian manufacturing. Journal of Political Economy, 129(6), pp.1797-1827.
Hotter years are associated with lower economic output in developing countries. We show that the effect of temperature on labor is an important part of the explanation. Using microdata from selected firms in India, we estimate reduced worker productivity and increased absenteeism on hot days. Climate control significantly mitigates productivity losses. In a national panel of Indian factories, annual plant output falls by about 2% per degree Celsius. This response appears to be driven by a reduction in the output elasticity of labor. Our estimates are large enough to explain previously observed output losses in cross-country panels.
Pre-print available here.
Gupta, Eshita, Bharat Ramaswami, and E. Somanathan. “The distributional impact of climate change: Why food prices matter.” Economics of Disasters and Climate Change (2021): 1-27.
We analyze the impact of agricultural productivity losses stemming from climate change in an economy without frictions. The first-order GDP impacts are expected to be small. But the poor have higher food budget shares and food prices will rise. How do distributional impacts diverge from the GDP impact? This is the question that is addressed. The paper considers two major sets of comparative statics: the effect of trade and the effect of economic growth. The model is calibrated to Indian data of 2009 and projections for 2030. The percentage loss of income for the landless is six times the GDP impact in a closed economy. Trade halves this effect and economic growth moderates it substantially. Despite the food price rise, nearly all farmers lose from climate change. The model is simple enough for impact channels to be transparent.
Pre-print available here