Brown bag seminar | Administrative incentives impact crop-residue burning and health in south Asia
Administrative incentives impact crop-residue burning and health in south Asia
By: Dipoppa G., and Gulzar, S
Air pollution in South Asia is one of the largest public health emergencies on the planet, responsible for a million deaths annually. A third of the pollution is caused by crop-residue burning (CRB). While solutions have been proposed to reduce CRB, implementing any of them at scale requires government intervention. Here we examine how administrators' incentives shape the effective management of pollution in India and Pakistan. We causally identify variation in administrators’ incentives to manage CRB by leveraging a decade of wind, fire, and health data from satellites and DHS surveys spanning over 17 million grid cells. Results show that CRB decreases when smoke pollutes the home district of the administrator, and increases when the externality is borne by neighboring jurisdictions, with substantial impacts on child mortality. These strategic patterns are five-times larger on the India-Pakistan border, where inter-jurisdictional cooperation is difficult. Our results indicate that administrators’ accountability to their own constituents and lack of accountability to others citizens impacts polluting behavior. Taken together, these findings offer hope that policies aimed at curbing environmental damages can substantially improve their effectiveness by incorporating incentives faced by administrators responsible for implementing policy solutions at scale.
About the speaker
Her research examines current threats to states’ rule of law. Unlawful pollution and environmental degradation are among the biggest challenges faced by states today. She study how states manage these challenges and the constraints they face in responding to them. In her papers and book project, she study another important challenge to rule of law: how criminal organizations are expanding to the richest countries in the world. She consider the consequences of organized crime infiltration on politics and which policies are most effective at curbing criminal governance. A third topic of her research is immigration: when illegal, migration is not only a problem for rule of law, but also a risk for migrants, who can fall victim of labor exploitation. She study the determinants of migrant labor exploitation and which interventions can help migrants exit exploitative working regimes. Her work is published or forthcoming in the Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Law, Economics and Organizations, Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade. Before joining Brown, she received a Ph.D in political science from University of Pennsylvania and a Postdoctoral Fellowship from Stanford University.
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