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THE SEEN AND THE UNSEEN: IMPACT OF A CONDITIONAL CASH TRANSFER PROGRAM ON PRENATAL SEX SELECTION (with Sayli Javadekar)(R&R)
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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.

LATE ADOPTION AND COLLECTIVE ACTION: SOCIAL MEDIA ADOPTION AND BLACK LIVES MATTER (with Annalí Casanueva ArtísVladimir Avetian, and Sulin Sardoschau)(Submitted)

This paper explores the impact of social media expansion in its later stages on collective action, focusing on Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in 2020. Using data from over 100 million tweets  and leveraging plausibly exogenous variation in super spreading events, we show that pandemic exposure increased social media adoption in predominantly white, rural, and Republican-leaning counties. "Late adopters" played a crucial role in spreading online and offline BLM protests to new areas, mobilizing more effectively than existing users. Our evidence suggests a shift in preferences among late adopters, beyond merely reducing coordination costs.

RELIGIOUSLY-INSPIRED BABY BOOM: EVIDENCE FROM GEORGIA (with Seung-Hun Chung, Neha Deopa, and Lyman Stone)(R&R)

This study investigates the Georgian Orthodox Church’s response to declining fertility rates through a 2007 intervention, wherein the Patriarch personally baptized third- or higher-parity children. Employing synthetic control and interrupted time series methods using macro data, we find suggestive evidence of increased fertility rates. Validating these findings with micro data from a representative sample of Georgian women, we
use quasi-experimental variation generated by religion, ethnicity, and marital status of the women; and the timing of the announcement to estimate the causal impact using a differences-in differences estimator. We find a 17 percent increase (0.3 children per woman) in the national total fertility rate, a 42 percent increase in Georgian Orthodox women’s birth rate within marriage (3.5 percentage points), and an 80 percent increase in their 3rd birth rate within marriage (0.8 percentage points). The impact of the intervention also correlates with higher marriage rates and reduced reported abortions,
aligning with the church’s goals. This research emphasizes the potential impact of non-economic factors such as religion and the influence of traditional authority figures on shifting fertility patterns in industrialized, educated, and low-fertility societies.

VIOLENT CONFLICTS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES: EVIDENCE FROM SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA (with Mhamed Ben Salah)(Submitted)

This study assesses the impact of violent conflicts on learning outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa using data on standardized test scores and conflict events from ten countries. Our findings demonstrate that exposure to violent conflict events experienced since birth significantly diminishes pupils’ proficiency in reading and mathematics. The timing of exposure and the nature of conflict events influence the extent of these effects. Violent conflicts,
particularly those causing higher casualties and infrastructure destruction, experienced during early childhood prior to primary school entrance, and to a lesser extent during schooling, significantly hamper learning. These adverse effects remain consistent across pupils’ socio-economic backgrounds, indicating that conflicts do not exacerbate existing disparities in learning outcomes. Moreover, conflicts affect female enrollment, though their
precise impact on the gender gap in learning outcomes is less clear. Our analysis reveals that damaged school infrastructure and territorial development serve as primary conduits through which conflicts disrupt learning. This research sheds light on the multifaceted impact of violent conflicts on education and highlights the need to address both immediate and long-term consequences for human capital development in conflict-affected regions.

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
IMPERIAL FAULT LINES: COLONIAL LEGACY AND FERTILITY IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
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
EDUCATION

I teach the following courses for Maters students at Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Groningen

 

Inclusive Finance

International Financial Development

CLIENTS
CV
CONTACT
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