Working Paper

1. Does access to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) reduce women household burden? Evidence from India (With Mehtabul Azam, R & R, Energy Econ)

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)

We examine whether China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative assisted its export performance in the final automobile sector, a market that has been challenging for the Chinese economy. We use the heterogeneity robust DID estimators for staggered timing. We also control for anticipation effects and potential BRI selection endogeneity using IVs. Our estimates find that China’s final automobile exports to the BRI partner destination countries after these countries became signatories are almost double that of the export to non-BRI partner destinations, and the effect for net-exports is an increase of about 59%. Sub-sample analyses indicate that the positive effect is stronger for China’s export to lower-income partners compared to its exports to relatively higher income destinations. The results are robust across alternate methods and specifications.

​3. Fuel Switching and Labor Supply of Rural Women in India

Using the nationally representative Indian Human Development Survey, we study whether use of cleaner energy source for cooking leads to increased female work participation. We categorize women household into three groups by the cooking fuel they use: biomass, mixed fuel, and modern fuel. The methodology used in this paper is difference-in-differences with multivalued treatment. We find that switching from solid to mixed fuel negatively affects women's work participation. This study also confirms that switching from mixed to modern fuel will increase the probability of female work participation in rural India significantly. Moreover, we do not find any average treatment effect on the female work participation for households who maintain the status quo.

4. 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.