Rohini Pande

Rohini Pande
Harvard University | Harvard · Harvard Kennedy School of Government

About

105
Publications
58,705
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7,157
Citations
Citations since 2017
18 Research Items
4184 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800

Publications

Publications (105)
Article
Full-text available
Background India's abrupt nationwide Covid−19 lockdown internally displaced millions of migrant workers, who returned to distant rural homes. Documenting their labour market reintegration is a critical aspect of understanding the economic costs of the pandemic for India's poor. In a country marked by low and declining female labour force participat...
Preprint
Background India’s abrupt nationwide Covid-19 lockdown internally displaced millions of urban migrants, who made arduous journeys to distant rural homes. Documenting their labor market reintegration is a critical aspect of understanding the economic costs of the pandemic for India’s poor. In a country marked by low and declining female labor force...
Article
Can increasing control over earnings incentivize a woman to work, and thereby influence norms around gender roles? We randomly varied whether rural Indian women received bank accounts, training in account use, and direct deposit of public sector wages into their own (versus husbands’) accounts. Relative to the accounts only group, women who also re...
Article
Full-text available
Using nationally representative data from India I examine the labor market effects of world's biggest and arguably most aggressive form of employment based affirmative action policy for minorities. This paper exploits the institutional features of federally mandated employment quota policy to examine its effect on two distinct minority groups. My m...
Article
Can e-governance reforms improve government policy? By making information available on a real-time basis, information technologies may reduce the theft of public funds. We analyze a large field experiment and the nationwide scale-up of a reform to India’s workfare program. Advance payments were replaced by “ just-in-time” payments, triggered by e-i...
Presentation
Full-text available
This is a course work presentation of the paper "Why Are Indian Children So Short? The Role of Birth Order and Son Preference" by Seema Jayachandran and Rohini Pande
Article
Multiple field experiments report positive financial returns to capital shocks for male and not female microentrepreneurs. But these analyses overlook the fact that female entrepreneurs often reside with male entrepreneurs. Using data from experiments in India, Sri Lanka, and Ghana, we show that the observed gender gap in microenterprise responses...
Article
Depressive and anxiety disorders substantially contribute to the global burden of disease, particularly in poor countries. Higher prevalence rates for both disorders among women indicate sex hormones may be integrated in the pathophysiology of these disorders. The Kshetriya Gramin Financial Services study surveyed a random sample of 4160 households...
Article
High pollution persists in many developing countries despite strict environmental rules. We use a field experiment and a structural model to study how plant emission standards are enforced. In collaboration with an Indian environmental regulator, we experimentally doubled the rate of inspection for treatment plants and required that the extra inspe...
Article
Female labor force participation varies significantly even among countries with similar levels of economic development. Recent studies have shown that gender norms can help explain these differences in women's work, but the channels through which norms impact women's employment decisions are not well understood. We present novel data on spouses' pr...
Article
Child stunting in India exceeds that in poorer regions like sub-Saharan Africa. Data on over 168,000 children show that, relative to Africa, India's height disadvantage increases sharply with birth order. We posit that India's steep birth order gradient is due to favoritism toward eldest sons, which affects parents' fertility decisions and resource...
Article
A housing lottery in an Indian city provided winning slum dwellers the opportunity to move into improved housing on the city's periphery. Fourteen years later, winners report improved housing but no change in tenure security, family income, or human capital. Winners also report increased isolation from family and caste networks and reduced informal...
Chapter
A majority of the world’s impoverished lack adequate access to financial services. Typically, formal banks do not target the poor because lending without collateral is considered too risky. Poor households seeking credit are subsequently forced into informal markets where the prices are high, the quantities limited, and the methods of insuring repa...
Article
Does the lack of peers contribute to the observed gender gap in entrepreneurial success? A random sample of customers of India's largest women's bank was offered two days of business counseling, and a random subsample was invited to attend with a friend. The intervention significantly increased participants' business activity, but only if they were...
Article
Agricultural tenancy reforms have been widely enacted, but evidence on their long-run impact remains limited. In this paper, we provide such evidence by exploiting the quasi-random assignment of linguistically similar areas to different South Indian states that subsequently varied in tenancy regulation policies. Given imperfect credit markets, the...
Article
Full-text available
Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson’s (2001) seminal article argues property-rights institutions powerfully affect national income, using estimated mortality rates of early European settlers to instrument capital expropriation risk. However, 36 of the 64 countries in the sample are assigned mortality rates from other countries, often based on mistaken...
Article
Does the lack of peers contribute to the observed gender gap in entrepreneurial success, and is the constraint stronger for women facing more restrictive social norms? We offered two days of business counseling to a random sample of customers of India's largest women's bank. A random sub-sample was invited to attend with a friend. The intervention...
Article
As an intrinsic part of the classic microfinance model, group meetings are intended to employ social capital to ensure timely repayment. Recent research suggests that more frequent meeting can, itself, increase social capital among first-time clients. Using randomized variation in group meeting frequency for 174 microfinance groups in India, we dem...
Article
As an intrinsic part of the classic microfinance model, group meetings are intended to employ social capital to ensure timely repayment. Recent research suggests that more frequent meeting can, itself, increase social capital among first-time clients. Using randomized variation in group meeting frequency for 174 microfinance groups in India, we dem...
Article
Full-text available
Does lack of peer support contribute to the observed gender gap in entrepreneurial success, and is the constraint stronger for women facing more restrictive social norms? We offered two days of business counseling to a random sample of customers of India's largest women's bank. A random subsample was invited to attend with a friend. The interventio...
Article
In many regulated markets, private, third-party auditors are chosen and paid by the firms that they audit, potentially creating a conflict of interest. This paper reports on a two-year field experiment in the Indian state of Gujarat that sought to curb such a conflict by altering the market structure for environmental audits of industrial plants to...
Article
Full-text available
Do the repayment requirements of the classic microfinance contract inhibit investment in high-return but illiquid business opportunities among the poor? Using a field experiment, we compare the classic contract which requires that repayment begin immediately after loan disbursement to a contract that includes a two-month grace period. The provision...
Article
We study differences in quality in the market for third-party environmental auditors in Gujarat, India. We find that, despite the low overall quality, auditors are heterogeneous and some perform well. We posit that these high-quality auditors survive by using their good name to insulate select client plants from regulatory scrutiny. We find two pie...
Article
Full-text available
Financial stress is widely believed to cause health problems. However, policies seeking to relieve financial stress by limiting debt levels of poor households may directly worsen their economic well-being. We evaluate an alternative policy - increasing the repayment flexibility of debt contracts. A field experiment randomly assigned microfinance cl...
Data
Coefficient of Variation. (XLS)
Data
Weekly vs. 5-weekly Randomization Check. (XLS)
Data
Description of Village Financial Society. (DOC)
Data
Statistical Methodology. (DOC)
Article
Full-text available
While the regulation of tenancy arrangements is widespread in the developing world, evidence on how such regulation influences the long-run allocation of land and labor remains limited. To provide such evidence, this paper exploits quasi-random assignment of linguistically similar areas to different South Indian states and historical variation in l...
Article
In the run-up to elections in a large Indian city, residents in a random sample of slums received newspapers containing report cards on politicians. The report card for a jurisdiction presented information, obtained under India’s disclosure laws, on performance of the incumbent legislator and qualifications of the incumbent and two main challengers...
Chapter
This chapter employs surveys and field experiments to determine how reserved seats for women at the local level in India have altered citizens' views regarding women as leaders. Focusing on developments in the state of West Bengal, Lori Beaman, Alexandra Cirone, and Rohini Pande ask whether the increased presence of female village council leaders a...
Article
Full-text available
Exploiting a randomized natural experiment in India, we show that female leadership influences adolescent girls’ career aspirations and educational attainment. A 1993 law reserved leadership positions for women in randomly selected village councils. Using 8453 surveys of adolescents aged 11 to 15 and their parents in 495 villages, we found that, re...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate how the link between individual schooling and political participation is affected by country characteristics. Using individual survey data, we find that political participation is more responsive to schooling in land-abundant countries, and less responsive in human capital-abundant countries, even while controlling for country politi...
Article
This paper examines whether a principal with limited knowledge of agents' actions can use an income tax scheme to uniquely implement the Pareto optimal equilibrium in a coordination game (i.e. a game with multiple Pareto-ranked equilibria). We show that, in contrast to games with externalities but a unique equilibrium, implementation in coordinatio...
Article
We document the emergence of a political gender gap over the last three decades in nine Western European countries, wherein rel-ative to men a higher proportion of women favor the political left. We show that the rise in non-marriage, both as measured by individ-ual demographics and aggregate non-marriage, in particular, divorce and out-of-wedlock...
Article
Full-text available
Recent years have seen a remarkable expansion in economists’ ability to measure corruption. This, in turn, has led to a new generation of well-identified, microeconomic studies. We review the evidence on corruption in developing countries in light of these recent advances, focusing on three questions: how much corruption is there, what are the effi...
Article
This article evaluates a body of recent work that uses field and natural experiments to answer the question of whether informed voters can enforce better governance. A common finding in the literature is that voter behavior is malleable and that information about the political process and politician performance improves electoral accountability. Li...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have scrutinized foreign aid's effects on poverty and growth, but anecdotal evidence suggests that donors often use aid for other ends. We test whether donors use bilateral aid to influence elections in developing countries. We find that recipient country administrations closely aligned with a donor receive more aid during election year...
Article
Full-text available
I investigate whether a large-scale deworming intervention aimed at primary school pupils in western Kenya had long-term effects on young children in the region, exploiting positive externalities from the program to estimate the impact on younger children who did not receive treatment directly. I find large cognitive effects—equivalent to between 0...
Article
Full-text available
Theoretical work on disciplining corrupt agents has emphasized the role of promised future rents (e.g. efficiency wages) but not of illicit future rents. Yet when opportu-nities for future rent extraction increase, agents should extract less rent today in order to preserve those opportunities. We study this "golden goose" effect in the context of a...
Article
Full-text available
I estimate the impacts of secondary school on human capital, occupational choice, and fertility for young adults in Kenya. Probability of admission to government secondary school rises sharply at a score close to the national mean on a standardized 8th grade examination, permitting me to estimate causal effects of schooling in a regression dis-cont...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates the impact of propaganda on participation in violent con-ict. I examine the e¤ects of the infamous "hate radio" station Radio RTLM that called for the extermination of the Tutsi ethnic minority population before and dur-ing the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. I develop a model of participation in ethnic violence where radio broadcasts...
Article
Full-text available
Emissions trading schemes have great potential to lower pollution while minimizing compliance costs for firms in many areas now subject to traditional command-and-control regulation. This paper connects experience with emissions trading, from programs like the U.S. Acid Rain program, to lessons for implementation of a Trading Pilot Scheme in India....
Article
A number of development assistance programs promote community interaction as a means of building social capital. Yet, despite strong theoretical underpinnings, the role of repeat interactions in sustaining cooperation has proven difficult to identify empirically. We provide the first experimental evidence on the economic returns to social interacti...
Article
Full-text available
The sharpest increase in U.S. home ownership over the last century occurred between 1940 and 1960, driven largely by a decrease in the age at first ownership. To shed light on the contribution of several coincident large-scale government interventions in housing finance, I examine veter-ans' home loan benefits provided under the postwar GI Bills. I...
Article
Full-text available
Recent evidence suggests heterogenous impacts of microfinance loans, with limited av- erage effects on enterprise growth among the poor. One possibility is that the rigidity of the classic microcredit contract - widely held to be important for reducing default - inhibits investment in microenterprises. To explore these trade-offs, we provide exper-...
Article
Full-text available
I estimate the economic impact of the construction of colonial India's railroad network from 1861-1930. Using newly collected district-level data on annual output, prices and internal trade flows I find that the railroad network had the following effects: (1) Railroads caused transport costs along optimal routes to fall by 73 per-cent for an averag...
Article
We exploit random assignment of gender quotas for leadership positions on Indian village councils to show that prior exposure to a female leader is associated with electoral gains for women. After ten years of quotas, women are more likely to stand for, and win, elected positions in councils required to have a female chief councilor in the previous...
Article
In stark contrast to bank debt contracts, most micro-finance contracts require that repayments start nearly immediately after loan disbursement and occur weekly thereafter. Even though economic theory suggests that a more flexible repayment schedule would benefit clients and potentially improve their repayment capacity, micro-finance practitioners...
Article
Full-text available
In the past century, more people have perished from famine than from both world wars combined. Yet we know little about why the intensity of famines can vary so much geo-graphically or what the long run e¤ects of exposure are to survivors. This paper addresses both of these questions in the context of China's Great Famine. We …rst show a novel sour...
Article
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Recent studies have shown that trade liberalization increases skilled wage premi-ums in developing countries. This result suggests globalization may bene…t elite skilled workers relatively more than poor unskilled workers, increasing inequality. This e¤ect may be mitigated, however, if human capital investment responds to new global op-portunities....
Article
Ahmedabad, India's sixth largest city, saw widespread religious violence in 2002. Using detailed neighborhood level data we show that riot incidence is positively predicted by a neighborhood's proximity to the, by now largely derelict, textile mills. Mill neighborhoods also exhibit higher levels of religious integration, a fact we trace to the hist...
Article
This paper uses data on elected village councils in South India to examine the political economy of public resource allocation. We find that the pattern of policy-making reflects politicians' self-interest. Elected councillors benefit from improved personal access to public resources. In addition, the head councillor's group identity and residence...
Article
We exploit random assignment of gender quotas for leadership positions on Indian village councils to show that prior exposure to a female leader is associated with electoral gains for women. After ten years of quotas, women are more likely to stand for, and win, elected positions in councils required to have a female chief councilor in the previous...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates the dynamic impacts of cotton marketing reforms on farm output in rural Zambia. Following liberalization and the elimination of the Zambian cotton marketing board, the sector developed an outgrower scheme whereby cotton firms provided credit, access to inputs and output markets, and technical assistance to the farmers. There...
Article
Based on a study of some 500 villages in the four southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, this paper examines how the functioning of the panchayat system mandated by the 73rd amendment to the Constitution has had an impact on the economic status of villages and the households within them. The study finds that gra...
Article
This paper studies the productivity and distributional effects of large irrigation dams in India. Our instrumental variable estimates exploit the fact that river gradient affects a district's suitability for dams. In districts located downstream from a dam, agricultural production increases, and vulnerability to rainfall shocks declines. In contras...
Article
In this paper, we analyze the effect of gender quotas on women's involvement in political activity by using a rich data set providing information on all Italian local administrators who were elected from 1985 to 2007. Gender quotas were introduced by law in Italy in 1993 and were in force until 1995. Because of the short period covered by the refor...
Article
In this paper, we analyze the effect of gender quotas on women's involvement in political activity by using a rich data set providing information on all Italian local administrators who were elected from 1985 to 2007. Gender quotas were introduced by law in Italy in 1993 and were in force until 1995. Because of the short period covered by the refor...
Article
Full-text available
As of 2005, there were over 9.2 million refugees worldwide and hundreds of thou-sands asylum seekers. Resettlement of refugees to North America and Europe is the primary strategy used when repatriation and local integration into the country of first asylum are not possible or undesirable. An important aspect of the resettlement pro-cess is how to d...
Article
Can historical patterns of inter-ethnic trade have lasting effects on religious tolerance? Two centuries after the decline of Muslim overseas trade, this paper finds that medieval ports, despite being poorer and more ethnically diverse, were twenty-five percentage points less likely to experience a Hindu-Muslim riot, both throughout India (1850-195...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we argue the case for greater exploitation of synergies between research on specific institutions based on micro-data and the big questions posed by the institutions and growth literature. To date, the macroeconomic literature on institutions and growth has largely relied on cross-country regression evidence. This has provided compell...
Article
Individuals' inability to coordinate investment may significantly constrain economic development. In this paper we study a simple investment game characterized by multiple equilibria and ask whether an income-based incentive scheme can uniquely implement the high-investment outcome. A general property of this game is the presence of a crossover-inv...
Article
This paper examines the political economy of government-led coordination of economic activity in a simple two-sector model in which individuals' choice of agricultural technology affects industrialization. We demonstrate the existence of multiple equilibria; the economy is either characterized by the use of a traditional agricultural technology and...
Article
This paper uses household data from India to examine the economic and social status of village politicians, and how individual and village characteristics affect politician behavior while in office. Education increases the chances of selection to public office and reduces the odds that a politician uses political power opportunistically. In contras...
Article
State-led credit and savings programs have been implemented in numerous low income countries, but their success in reaching the poor remains widely debated. We report on research that exploits the policy features of the Indian social banking program to provide evidence on this issue. State-led branch expansion into rural unbanked locations reduced...
Article
We use household and village survey data from South India to examine who participates in village meetings called by elected local governments, and what effect these meetings have on beneficiary selection for welfare programs. Our main finding is that it is the more disadvantaged social groups who attend village meetings and that holding such meetin...
Article
Political survey data for nine West European countries show that women have become increasingly left-wing compared to men, and that this trend is positively correlated with the rise of nonmarriage in these countries. This pattern is mirrored in German longitudinal data (GSOEP), where transitions out of marriage make women, but not men, significantl...
Article
Full-text available
Lack of access to finance is often cited as a key reason why poor people remain poor. This paper uses data on the Indian rural branch expansion program to provide empirial evidence on this issue. Between 1977 and 1990, the Indian Central Bank mandated that a commercial bank can open a branch in a location with one or more bank branches only if it o...
Article
We investigate whether timing of the elections leads to riots or not within India. In other words, does timing of elections instigate riots? The theoretical underpinning is that an incumbent government and opposition parties exercises control over their agents to instigate communal mob violence and riots during the election years. The motto behind...
Article
Full-text available
This paper compares economic outcomes across areas in India which were under the direct colonial rule of British administrators with areas which were under indirect colonial rule. I take advantage of a specific annexation policy of the British, called the "Doctrine of Lapse", to construct an instrumental variable estimate of the impact of colonial...
Article
This paper uses village and household survey data from South India to examine how political geography and politician identity impacts on public good provision. We provide evidence that the nature of this relationship varies by type of public good. For high spillover public goods residential proximity to elected representative matters. In contrast,...