Theses Doctoral

Essays in Development, Environment and Health

Barnwal, Prabhat

This dissertation examines topics related to development, environment and health in developing countries using empirical methods.

In the first chapter, I study how developing countries can increase enforcement to reduce subsidy leakage in public programs, by investing in the state capacity to target program beneficiaries. This chapter further attempts to understand how the formal sector and black market respond to a policy that reduces diversion of a subsidized commodity. I explore these questions using the case of a Unique ID-based direct fuel subsidy transfer policy in India.

Second chapter focuses on the health and wealth trade off near mineral mining operations in developing countries. Using extensive data on mining, health outcomes and assets from 44 developing countries, this study quantifies the wealth gain and adverse health impact of mineral mining. With a number of empirical strategies, this study shows that, despite high wealth gains, how heavy metal mining significantly increases the level of anemia in women and stunting in children living near mines.

In the third chapter, I estimate demand for a water quality diagnostic product -- arsenic testing, when it is offered at a price. I further look into various aspects related to selection, learning and households behavioral response to the information. This study is based on a field experiment in Bihar, India.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Sustainable Development
Thesis Advisors
Pop-Eleches, Cristian
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 11, 2015