Department of Economics
Maloney Hall, 324
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2018||The Skills to Pay the Bills: Returns to On-the-job Soft Skills Training|
with Achyuta Adhvaryu, Namrata Kala: w24313
We evaluate the causal impacts of on-the-job soft skills training on the productivity, wages, and retention of female garment workers in India. The program increased women’s extraversion and communication, and spurred technical skill upgrading. Treated workers were 20 percent more productive than controls post-program. Wages rise very modestly with treatment (by 0.5 percent), with no differential turnover, suggesting that although soft skills raise workers’ marginal products, labor market frictions are large enough to create a substantial wedge between productivity and wages. Consistent with this, the net return to the firm was large: 258 percent eight months after program completion.
|The Light and the Heat: Productivity Co-benefits of Energy-saving Technology|
with Achyuta Adhvaryu, Namrata Kala: w24314
Measurement of the full costs and benefits of energy-saving technologies is often difficult, confounding adoption decisions. We study consequences of the adoption of energy-efficient LED lighting in garment factories around Bangalore, India. We combine daily production line-level data with weather data and estimate a negative, nonlinear productivity-temperature gradient. We find that LED lighting, which emits less heat than conventional bulbs, decreases the temperature on factory floors, and thus raises productivity, particularly on hot days. Using the firm’s costing data, we estimate the pay-back period for LED adoption is nearly one-sixth the length after accounting for productivity co-benefits.
|Resources, Conflict, and Economic Development in Africa|
with Achyuta Adhvaryu, James E. Fenske, Gaurav Khanna: w24309
Natural resources have driven both growth and conflict in modern Africa. We model the interaction of parties engaged in potential conflict over such resources. The likelihood of conflict depends on both the absolute and relative resource endowments of the parties. Resources fuel conflict by raising the gains from expropriation and by increasing fighting strength. Economic prosperity, as a result, is a function of equilibrium conflict prevalence determined not just by a region's own resources but also by the resources of its neighbors. Using high-resolution spatial data on resources, conflicts, and nighttime illumination across the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, we find evidence confirming each of the model's predictions. Structural estimates of the model reveal that conflict equilibria are ...