Second Webinar in the GLO Virtual Young Scholar (GLO-VirtYS) Program, Cohort 2019-20. First announcement for September 17, 2020.

Second webinar in the GLO Virtual Young Scholar (GLO-VirtYS) Program, Cohort 2019-20

All the presentation in this series are based on the projects that GLO-VirtYS program scholars completed as part of their program participation.

This seminar is GLO internal, special invitation needed.

First Webinar (seminar on September 10, 2020 with presentations by Yannis Galanakis & Samuel Mann). Report of the event. Watch the video of the event.

September 17th Program

Sydney (10pm), Beijing (8pm), Istanbul (3pm), Berlin (2pm), London (1pm), Cape Town (2pm), Washington DC (8am), Santiago de Chile (8am)

  1. Satyendra Kumar Gupta, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy and GLO affiliate
    Irrigation and Culture: Gender Roles and Women’s Rights (GLO VirtYS program advisor Professor Almas Heshmati)
  2. Kelly Hyde, University of Pittsburgh and GLO affiliate
    The Regressive Costs of Drinking Water Contaminant Avoidance (GLO VirtYS program advisor Professor Anurag Sharma)

Chaired by GLO VirtYS Program Director Olena Nizalova.

Satyendra Kumar Gupta

Satyendra Kumar Gupta is working as assistant professor at Jindal School of Government and Public Policy. He received PhD in economics from NTU Singapore in 2017. His research interest are in long-run economic growth and development economics. His research interplays between the natural endowment, natural experiments and contemporary economic development. His work is published at JEEM, Land Econ, and Econ Letters.

GLO VirtYS Project

Irrigation and Culture: Gender Roles and Women’s Rights

This paper proposes the hypothesis that the historical use of irrigation reduces contemporary female labor force participation and female property rights. We test the hypothesis using an exogenous measure of irrigation and data from pre-industrial societies (Ethnographic Atlas; Standard Cross-Cultural Sample), the Afrobarometer, cross-country data, the European Social Survey, the American Community Survey, and the India Demographic and Household Survey. Our hypothesis receives considerable empirical support. First, in pre-industrial societies, irrigation was associated with reduced female relative participation in agriculture and subsistence activities. Second, we find negative associations between ancestral irrigation and female labor force participation and related attitudes in the contemporary African and Indian populations, 2nd generation European immigrants, 1.5 and 2nd generation US immigrants, and in cross-country data. Third, in Africa and across countries, ancestral irrigation is negatively associated with female property rights. Our estimates are robust to a host of control variables and alternative specifications. We find some support for four potential partial mechanisms. First, due to the common pool nature of irrigation water, pre-industrial societies had more frequent conflicts and warfare. This raised the social status of males and restricted women’s movements away from home. Second, in premodern societies irrigation activities favored males, which caused females to gravitate toward the home. Over time, these two mechanisms have produced a cultural preference against female participation in the formal labor market. Third, irrigation historically produced autocracy, which tends to weaken property rights. Fourth, historical irrigation has yielded collectivism, which is associated with weaker female property rights.

Kelly Hyde

Kelly Hyde is a PhD candidate in economics at University of Pittsburgh, with concentrations in health, environmental, and behavioral economics. His research broadly focuses on the environmental and behavioral determinants of health disparities in both developed and developing economic contexts. Kelly’s recent work studies the relationship between drinking water contamination, extreme temperatures, and dimensions of poverty in the United States, including food security and risks of adverse health outcomes. He contributes to the existing literature on adaptation to and avoidance of environmental shocks by considering their distributional implications, since the cost of avoidance looms larger for budget-constrained households. This research agenda is supported by a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation.

GLO VirtYS Project

The Regressive Costs of Drinking Water Contaminant Avoidance

Up to 45 million Americans in a given year are potentially exposed to contaminated drinking water, increasing their risk of a wide range of adverse health outcomes. Existing literature has demonstrated that individuals respond to drinking water quality violations by increasing their purchases of bottled water and filtration avoidance, thereby avoiding exposure to contaminants. This paper demonstrates that poorer households, for whom the costs of avoidance comprise a greater share of disposable income, bear disproportionate costs of water quality violations in the United States. Following a health-based water quality violation reported to the Environmental Protection Agency, poor households’ expenditure on nutritious grocery products in a nationally representative panel differentially decreases by approximately $7 per month. This is associated with a decrease of about 1,500 calories per household member per day, placing these individuals at a higher risk of food insecurity. This finding suggests that the indirect costs of drinking water contamination through economic channels exacerbate health disparities associated with poverty.


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