Working Paper

1. Does access to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) reduce women household burden? Evidence from India (Job Market Paper)

Using the nationally representative Indian Time Use Survey, we study whether the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as the main cooking fuel reduces the time burden of cooking activities carried out by Indian rural women and increases the time spent in employment activities. To address the potential endogeneity of LPG, we instrument LPG using a leave-one-out spatial instrument constructed by taking the average level of LPG use in the village where the average is calculated leaving the concerned household. We find that use of LPG does not affect the probability of women participating in cooking activities. LPG use reduces the total time burden of cooking activities; however, the magnitude of the impact remains low compared to the average time spent in the cooking activities. We also find that the use of LPG increases the time spent in employment activities by about eight minutes that constitute a ten percent increase given the very low level of female employment rate in India.

2. Does the Belt and Road Initiative Help Chinese Automobile Exports? (with Bidisha Lahiri)

The automobile industry has been a challenge for Chinese exports. We examine whether China’s ambitious BRI policy has assisted automobile exports by China using the Diff-in-Diff approach. Our estimates find that the BRI initiative increases automobile exports by 23%. Placebo tests confirm the parallel trend assumption. Further robustness tests control potential BRI selection bias using IVs and find the effects somewhat stronger but similar. Sub-sample analyses indicate that the positive effect is driven by China’s export to high-income partners. We do not find offsetting automobile imports effects of BRI counteracting the export gains for China.

3. The Efficiency of Industries in India: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis 

This article investigates the efficiency of firms in the Indian manufacturing sector, using a Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) of a data set of 42,772 firms during the period 2014-2015 in India. We then apply a continuous treatment approach Generalized Propensity Score (GPS) methodology to investigate the export intensity and production growth. Our empirical results indicate that larger firms tend to be more efficient; rural-located firms and firms with ISO (International Organization for Standardization)  certification are more efficient than firms without the certification. Furthermore, we find that firms' export share has a causal effect on production growth within a specific level of export share. The dose-response reveals an inverted-U shape between the export share intensity and production growth.