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THE SEEN AND THE UNSEEN: IMPACT OF A CONDITIONAL CASH TRANSFER PROGRAM ON PRENATAL SEX SELECTION (with Sayli Javadekar)(Submitted)
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Kritika Saxena

Ph.D. in Development Economics

 

I am a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. My primary research interests are in applied microeconomics,  impact evaluation, and gender. I received my Ph.D. in Development Economics from the Geneva Graduate Institute under the supervision of Dr. Lore Vandewalle. 

I am interested in policy-focused research and in the past, I have worked for policy and research organizations like JPAL, World Bank and WIPO.

EXPERIENCE
RESEARCH
Working Papers

How is prenatal sex selective behaviour influenced by the presence of cheap fetal gender identification technology and financial incentives? We analyze a conditional cash transfer program in India called Janani Suraksha Yojna. By providing access to prenatal sex detection technology like the ultrasound scans, and simultaneously providing cash incentives to both households and community health workers for every live birth, this program altered existing trends in prenatal sex selection. Using difference-in-differences and triple difference estimators we find that the policy led to an increase in female births. This improvement comes at a cost, as we observe an increase in under-5 mortality for girls born at higher birth orders, indicating a shift in discrimination against girls from pre-natal to post-natal. Our calculations show that the net effect of the policy was that nearly 300,000 more girls survived in treatment households between 2006 and 2015. Finally, we find that the role played by community health workers in facilitating the program is a key driver of the decline in prenatal sex selection.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE BROADENING OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: EVIDENCE FROM BLACK LIVES MATTER (with Vladimir Avetian, Annalí Casanueva Artís, and Sulin Sardoschau)

How do modern social movements broaden their base? Prompted by the viral video footage of George Floyd’s murder, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement gained unprecedented scope in the spring of 2020. In this paper, we show that pandemic exposure (COVID-19 related deaths) significantly increased the take-up of social media and subsequently mobilized protesters in whiter, more affluent and suburban counties with low ex-ante probability of protesting. We exploit Super Spreader Events in the early stages of the pandemic as a source of plausibly exogenous variation at the county level and develop a novel index of social media penetration, using information from more than 45 million tweets, google searches and mobility data. We show that a one standard deviation increase in pandemic exposure increased the number of new Twitter accounts by 27% and increased protest propensity by 9 percentage points. Our results suggest that social media can be persuasive and inspire action outside of traditional coalitions.

ROLE OF FINANCIAL DEVELOPMENT FOR FINANCING ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES: CROSS COUNTRY EVIDENCE

This paper studies the role of financial development on environmental technologies. Most of the literature on financial development has studied its role in promoting economic growth and less attention has been paid on studying its effect on technological innovation in general and environmental technological innovation in particular. One of the main contributions of this paper is to fill this research gap in estimating the relationship between financial development and environmental technology development with a comprehensive measure of environmental technology that is not limited to one or two narrowly defined environmental technology fields. The development of environmental technologies is measured using data on environmental technology patents from over 80 environmental technology fields classified in PATSTAT. The analysis is done on panel data from 38 countries from the year 2000 till 2009, using GMM estimation for dynamic count data models.  The results indicate a positive and significant relationship between financial institution development and environmental technology development in a country. It also finds that unlike institutions, financial markets tend to substitute funding away from environmental technologies to more profitable general technologies.

Ongoing Projects
VIOLENT CONFLICTS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES: EVIDENCE FROM SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA (with Mhamed Ben Salah)
RELIGIOUSLY-INSPIRED BABY BOOM: EVIDENCE FROM GEORGIA (with Seung-Hun Chung, Neha Deopa, and Lyman Stone)
IMPERIAL FAULT LINES: COLONIAL LEGACY AND FERTILITY IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
MIGRATION: POLICY REFORMS AND COORDINATION (with Rémi Viné)
Grants
THE SHORT-TERM EFFECTS OF THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN ON RURAL COMMUNITIES IN INDIA, (with Ashwini Deshpande, Joshua Merfeld, and Lore Vandewalle)

International Growth Center (IGC) COVID Short Project Grant for 20,000 GBP. This grant was used to collect data from SHG members, local government officials, and health workers to better understand policy implementation and coordination issues during the pandemic in 2020. 

Contribution to Policy Research

Contributions to ITC's SME Competitiveness Outlook

SME COMPETITIVENESS OUTLOOK 2023: SMALL BUSINESS IN FRAGILITY

Contributions to The Global Innovation Index co-produced by Cornell University, INSEAD, and WIPO

GLOBAL INNOVATION INDEX 2018: ENERGIZING THE WORLD WITH INNOVATION
GLOBAL INNOVATION INDEX 2017: INNOVATION FEEDING THE WORLD
GLOBAL INNOVATION INDEX 2016: WINNING WITH GLOBAL INNOVATION

Contributions to World Bank policy reports

ADDRESSING INEQUALITY IN SOUTH ASIA
TEACHING

Teaching Assistant - Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

2017 

Economics of Development (Prof. Lore Vandewalle)

EDUCATION
2018 - 2019

Public Policy, Economic Development, and Gender (Prof. Martina Viarengo)

Finance and Development (Prof. Ugo Panizza)

Economics of Development (Prof. Lore Vandewalle)

2019 - 2020

Transnational Actors and Migration (Dr. Cecilia Cannon)

Applying Organization Theories to Practice (Prof. Jörg Dietz)

Economics of Development (Prof. Lore Vandewalle)

2020 - 2021

Applying Organization Theories to Practice (Prof. Jörg Dietz)

Economics of Development (Prof. Lore Vandewalle)

CLIENTS
CV
CONTACT
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