The reform of energy subsidies in Iran: The role of cash transfers
(2015), Emerging Markets Finance and Trade
Contracting and quality upgrading: evidence from a pilot experiment in Senegal
Measurement error, validation data, and program evaluation
Measuring willingness to pay for reliable electricity: evidence from Senegal
Revised & Resubmitted, World Development
Working Paper Link
Low-quality electricity service constitutes a significant obstacle in achieving sustainable development. Governments in low-income countries and donors are increasingly seeking to invest in improving electricity service quality and reliability. Understanding households’ and firms’ willingness to pay (WTP) for quality improvements is key to designing investments in the electricity sector. In this paper, we provide new evidence on WTP for service quality improvements from a nationally-representative survey in Senegal. We find that households and firms are willing to pay a premium over current tariffs for high-quality electricity service without outages. However, WTP for marginal service improvements is significantly lower than WTP for uninterrupted service, suggesting that, for households and firms, any increase in electricity tariff must be accompanied by substantial quality improvements. We discuss the multi-round bidding game built in our data to emphasize the importance of design choices in eliciting the WTP and draw some policy implications.
Can smallholder extension transform African agriculture?
Working Paper Link (NBER Working Paper No. 26054, July 2019)
Agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa lags far behind all other regions of the world. A long list of policy experiments has yielded more evidence on what fails than on what works. We analyze a randomized control trial of a rare scaled-up success story: One Acre Fund’s small farmer program. Much like anti-poverty “graduation” interventions, the program aims to relax multiple constraints to productivity simultaneously. We show that participation causes statistically and economically significant increases in output, yields, and profits. In our preferred specification, maize production increases by 24% and profits by 16%. We find little evidence of heterogeneous treatment effects on yields, but observe some attenuation of impacts on total output and profits at the top end of the distribution.
Work in Progress
Spillovers without social interactions in urban sanitation
Using market mechanisms to increase the take-up of improved sanitation
Pricing complexity and consumer behavior: evidence from a lab experiment
"The Poop Cartel," Planet Money (Episode 855, July 25, 2018); All Things Considered (July 27, 2018)