Sonia R. Bhalotra

Department of Economics and ISER
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
Colchester C04 3SQ
United Kingdom

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Essex

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2017First and Second Generation Impacts of the Biafran War
with Richard Akresh, Marinella Leone, Una O. Osili: w23721
We analyze long-term impacts of the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War, providing the first evidence of intergenerational impacts. Women exposed to the war in their growing years exhibit reduced adult stature, increased likelihood of being overweight, earlier age at first birth, and lower educational attainment. Exposure to a primary education program mitigates impacts of war exposure on education. War exposed men marry later and have fewer children. War exposure of mothers (but not fathers) has adverse impacts on child growth, survival, and education. Impacts vary with age of exposure. For mother and child health, the largest impacts stem from adolescent exposure.
March 2017Urban Water Disinfection and Mortality Decline in Developing Countries
with Alberto Diaz-Cayeros, Grant Miller, Alfonso Miranda, Atheendar S. Venkataramani: w23239
Historically, improvements in municipal water quality reduced mortality substantially in wealthy countries. However, water disinfection has not produced equivalent benefits in developing countries today. We investigate this puzzle by analyzing a large-scale municipal water disinfection program in Mexico that increased water chlorination coverage from 55% to 90% within 18 months. On average, the program reduced childhood diarrheal disease mortality rates by 50%. However, age (degradation) of water pipes and inadequate sanitation infrastructure attenuated these benefits substantially, ranging from no decline in cities with the worst infrastructure to 80% in those with the best – a decline consistent with historical experience.
July 2013Religion, Politician Identity and Development Outcomes: Evidence from India
with Guilhem Cassan, Irma Clots-Figueras, Lakshmi Iyer: w19173
This paper investigates whether the religious identity of state legislators in India influences development outcomes, both for citizens of their religious group and for the population as a whole. To allow for politician identity to be correlated with constituency level voter preferences or characteristics that make religion salient, we use quasi-random variation in legislator identity generated by close elections between Muslim and non-Muslim candidates. We find that increasing the political representation of Muslims improves health and education outcomes in the district from which the legislator is elected. We find no evidence of religious favoritism: Muslim children do not benefit more from Muslim political representation than children from other religious groups.

Published: Bhalotra, Sonia & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Cassan, Guilhem & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2014. "Religion, politician identity and development outcomes: Evidence from India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 4-17. citation courtesy of

March 2013Religion, Politician Identity and Development Outcomes: Evidence from India
with Irma Clots-Figueras, Guilhem Cassan, Lakshmi Iyer
in Economics of Religion and Culture, Daniel Hungerman and Daniel L. Chen, editors
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