Improving Timely Immunization by Automating Workflow of Frontline Health Workers using Information and Communication Technology
Abstract: The scarcity of personnel in government health facilities in India has reduced the quantity and quality of services offered by them. Despite the paucity of human resources, these workers spend a substantial amount of time to update utilization records, planning and coordinating healthcare sessions, reducing their availability to provide care. The introduction of technology-enabled platforms might be an economically efficient substitute for such repetitive and time-consuming activities. Minimally skilled community health workers armed with information and communication technology (ICT) tools and customized applications that automate their work processes can be effective in bridging the gap between demand and supply for healthcare services. We propose to develop an integrated ICT platform that: (i) automatically generates the list of children due at each immunization session based on their date of birth, immunization history, and the recommended immunization schedule, (ii) sends targeted reminder phone calls to mothers/parents ahead of the scheduled immunization session, and (iii) creates real-time dashboards for senior healthcare administrators to ensure effective monitoring & supervision of the immunization program. We propose to assess the impact of this platform on the timeliness of immunization in a multi-arm randomized control trial and compare it with previously tested demand-side interventions such as text message reminders and incentives to parents. Finally, we also plan to elicit additional qualitative feedback from administrators and frontline health workers about the impact of the ICT platform on their productivity and job satisfaction.
Household Assets, Liquidity and Financial Inclusion
Abstract: How do households choose between liquidity and returns? A liquid asset can be converted into cash easily but may generate lower returns. Using the data collected by National Sample Survey Organization, for a representative sample of Indian households, we plan to examine a) if illiquid household assets yield different average returns than liquid ones, and b) how households of different characteristics choose liquidity composition of their asset portfolio. In examining the second question above, we will particularly investigate how financial inclusion –access to instruments of investment, credit and insurance – plays a role in alleviating the need of households to keep liquid, unproductive assets. The research intends to shed light on liquidity-return relationship for non-financial assets, risk mitigation strategies by the poor, and effects of financial inclusion on liquidity-return trade-off, synthesizing three strands of literature. The research would also help us anticipate how the new disruptive technologies intended to improve financial inclusion are likely to affect the portfolio choices of poor households.
Third-Party Healthcare Insurance and the Pricing Puzzle
Abstract: The healthcare sector is undergoing a data revolution, with automation boosting the quantity and quality of data available to administrators. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are leaders in generating micro-data in the healthcare sector. Yet little research demonstrates how this data deluge can be used for managerial purposes. Our research will use administrative data from the state-run Aarogyasri program, which pays for poor citizens’ tertiary care, to answer an important managerial question - What is the right price for healthcare services? For policymakers, a key problem in single-payer insurance is the tendency of hospitals to over-treat patients if a procedure is profitable, especially if the hospital determines if the procedure is required. Overtreatment is potentially harmful both to patients’ health as well as the states’ finances, while profitable for hospitals. Using extremely detailed data on more than 3.1 million procedures under the program, we will examine how hospitals respond to increases in reimbursement rates. Thus, we will create tools to use administrative data to set healthcare prices, with applications to Aarogyasri as well as the national program enrolling 41 million households. Setting “right” prices might boost the government’s ability to finance healthcare for all, while retaining a large role for the private sector.
Does Automation Help or Hurt Workers? A Country-Level Analysis of the Use of Robotics on Employment
Abstract: Firms are increasingly purchasing robots, defined as machines with artificial intelligence. These robots are more accurate, faster, and less costly (in the long-run) in their tasks compared to their counterpart: a human worker. Since robots are likely to displace workers for certain tasks, the key question is whether this is beneficial for society? Naturally, if robots are replacing workers, then the worker is unemployed. An increase in the unemployment rate, decreases the country’s GDP, and therefore robots are not beneficial for society. However, the counter-argument is that while robots displace workers for a particular task, it can create new jobs such as the management of the robots. In addition, the firm can focus on higher-order tasks that cannot be displaced by robots, such as negotiating more business from a client or launching a new product, which subsequently increases the firm’s growth and potentially creates more employment opportunities in the firm. These ideas would suggest that the use of robots increases overall employment in the country. To test our competing hypotheses, we propose to use a longitudinal dataset from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) that covers 50 countries from 1990 to 2017. We then plan to leverage this dataset to create a research agenda that can allow us to dig deeper into more important research questions related to robotics and employment and its impact on emerging markets.
Natural Resource Allocation Mechanism and its impact on Rent Seeking: Evidence from India
Abstract: Natural resource curse is a well-accepted phenomenon in economics and public policy literature (Haber et al. 2011, Holder. 2006, F Van der Ploeg. 2011). Some of the well known explanations for the natural resource curse include among others the “Dutch disease”, weak institutional frameworks, weak or non-existent contract enforcement and corruption. There has been prior literature that links rent-seeking, particularly from natural resources and public infrastructure, to the quality or lack thereof of public institutions in resource rich developing economies (Andersen and Aslaksen 2008; Bhattacharyya and Hodler 2010; Lane and Tornell n.d.; Robinson, Torvik, and Verdier 2014; Tornell and Lanem Philip R. 1999). Discretionary distribution of natural resources and public infrastructure projects by the government to private players has been identified as one of the key mechanisms through which rents are appropriated (Tornell and Lanem Philip R. 1999). However lack of proper data and significant endogeneity concerns have limited the study of the natural resource curse and associated mechanisms. We utilize an exogenous event to evaluate whether a change in the mechanism of allocation of natural resources affects rent-seeking behaviour and associated outcomes. In addition to this we also study how the rents appropriated are tunnelled by such agents. Our work also adds to the strand of literature on the rents charged as a result of political connectedness in developing economy.
Understanding Supply Network Structures and their performance consequences across developed and emerging market contexts
Abstract: A multi - disciplinary research project spanning finance, operations strategy to collect detailed supply network data and explore, analyze, and understand the similarities and differences of network structure and their performance consequences across developed and emerging market contexts. Broadly, the project investigates the following:
1) The role of networking the propagation of risks in role of Networks in the propagation of risks in supply networks and consequently it effect on Firm returns and
2) The role of global supply networks, especially the presence of certain network Structures such as “small world,” in conferring competitive advantage to firms through sustained superior firm performance.
Low Income Consumers in India: Innovation and Customer Engagement
Abstract: The objectives of this research project are to examine and understand:
1. The purchase and consumption behaviors of India’s low income consumers (LIC)
2. Firms’ response in terms of new product launches/ innovative solutions to these consumers
3. Customer engagement through firms’ channel and salesforce in influencing product adoption and sales
4. The nature of differential sources of social ties and trust in engaging consumers through different channel routes.
Flow-driven Variation in Government Bonds
Abstract: This study investigates the role of illiquidity and order flow in determining bond prices, with particular attention to the role of central banks. While intuition and some theoretical arguments suggest that liquidity provision by central banks should promote market depth and stability, recent experience has led some to suggest that aggressive management of bond markets may actually have the opposite effect. Using a comprehensive dataset of orders and trades in the Indian government bond market, we build a dynamic model of the interaction of order flows, returns, and illiquidity. The model allows us to quantify the fraction of price variation caused by exogenous shocks to flow, and investigate conditional determinants of this flow-driven component of variation. Results show that the effect of flow on interest rates is large and permanent, and that flow-driven variation accounts for a substantial component of bond volatility. Both bond market liquidity and order flow volatility show significant time-variation, contributing to substantiation movement in flow-driven variation. We find that funding liquidity injection by central bank and central bank activism are associated with improvement in bond market liquidity. Ongoing work is examining the role of central bank actions in determining the other components of flow-driven variation.
Road Infrastructure Projects in India
Abstract: While India has ambitious plans to build more roads through PPP, it is perceived that the existing PPP projects have not worked well. This project will analyze the performance (actual cost in relation to length of road and original estimates, and actual time to completion in relation to original estimate) of completed road projects separately for each financing source (PPP, World Bank, ADB, and NHAI) and for each state. We will also analyze financial profitability of the PPP ventures, and survey companies and MoRTH (Ministry of Road Transportation and Highways) and NHAI (National Highway Authority of India) officials to understand perceptions about performance and risk. Finally we will correlate time and cost overruns with the stated reasons for delay. Based on this analysis, we will make recommendations for better structuring of PPPs so that they perform in the best interests of all parties.
Do exit laws matter for FDI? Evidence from Indian States
Abstract: In the context of Make in India, does the stringency of exit norms play a role in attracting FDI investments into various states across India? Will environmental munificence moderate this relationship? Does exit figure as a priority on the minds of investors?
Creditor Rights, Capital Structure and Corporate Labor Policy
Abstract: This study aims to evaluate the impact of creditor rights on labor outcomes for firms in India using the passage of Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interests Act of 2002 (SARFAESI Act henceforth), which strengthened the rights of secured creditors as a quasi-experimental setting. Overall, our study expects to inform the literature on the relationship between firm’s financing decisions and labor policies.
Self-Worth Restoration through High Intensity Sensory Consumption: An Arousal-Regulation Explanation
Abstract: We propose that consumption of high intensity sensory stimuli can be used as a means of self-worth restoration after individuals experience psychological threat. Across four studies, we demonstrate that not only do individuals facing self-threat prefer high intensity sensory consumption (HISC) but also that this consumption restores their self-worth by means of arousal regulation. We show that consumption of high intensity sensory stimuli after experiencing threat elevates individuals’ arousal levels, which, in turn, minimizes elaboration on negative thoughts related to the threat and protects one’s self-worth. We find that this arousal regulation mechanism serves to protect self-worth regardless of the valence of the sensory consumption. We show that this pattern of results holds true in both the visual domain (as evidenced by a preference for more intense and saturated colors) as well as the auditory domain (as evidenced by a preference for louder audio levels). To further demonstrate the role of arousal regulation, we also show that when arousal levels are already sufficiently high, there is no further propensity towards high intensity sensory consumption. Thus, we propose high intensity sensory consumption to be a novel avenue for self-worth restoration.
How Cultural Capital Structures Preferences for Flamboyance and Subtlety in Sensory Choices in India
Abstract: Prior work has related levels of cultural capital to consumption patterns (Bourdieu 1984; Holt 1998). We revisit and reinterpret Holt’s (1998) dimensions of taste, differentiating high versus low cultural capital consumers in an Indian context. It is generally observed in India that consumers from lower social classes tend to favor strong sensory intensity with respect to visual aspects in their clothing, accessories and also in other sensory dimensions like auditory, gustatory, and olfactory, while higher social classes prefer low or moderate intensity in their sensory choices. We investigate whether differences in cultural capital resources structure patterns of taste with respect to sensory intensity among Indian consumers. We find that observed differences in preferred intensity of sensory consumption can be understood through a modified theoretical framework for cultural capital that takes into account power and control, collective identity and negotiation of individual tastes via adherence to cultural boundaries and norms.
Prices and patents revisited: Evidence from the Indian pharmaceutical industry 1995-2009
Abstract: In order to comply with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) charter of the World Trade Organization, India strengthened its patent regime and re-introduced product patents in the agricultural, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors, in 2005. Until the reintroduction of product patents, the Indian pharmaceutical industry comprised mostly of generic drug manufacturers who manufactured and distributed copies of original pharmaceutical drugs manufactured and distributed by branded drug manufacturers (Chaudhuri, Goldberg, and Jia, 2006). Given the relatively lower cost of R&D, branded generics were available to the consumers at a fraction of the cost of the original branded drug. The reintroduction of product patents in India has been heavily debated with its effects on prices of drugs being the main focal point. There has been very little discussion of its effects on quality or how the reintroduction of product patents will impact entry in the industry.
This study aims to partially fill this gap by examining the effects of the re-introduction of product patents in India on the nature of entry and the quality of products in a market and how they in turn roll up the effects on prices and quantity consumed in a market. Using the Indian pharmaceutical industry, and the recently implemented patent reforms in India mandated by TRIPS, which represents an exogenous event, we put together a data set that allows us to assess the role of the strength of patents on product quality and the nature of entry in a market.
Access to Mobile Telephony and Implication for Economic Growth
Abstract: Mobile telephony has witnessed unprecedented growth. Between 2000-2013, mobile subscription increased 200 fold, from about 0.34 to 71 mobile subscribers per 100 inhabitants in India. This is in stark contrast to concerns about the “digital divide” when information and communications technology (ICT) tools such as computers and the internet were introduced. The causal effect of rapid changes in mobile telephony on economic outcomes is poorly understood. Its proliferation is argued to be largely demand driven and therefore endogenous to various confounding factors.
The study looks at the Census data from 2001 and 2011 to confirm that both mobile coverage and ownership were improved for the villages covered under the Shared Mobile Infrastructure Program (SMIP). We aim to conduct empirical analysis on the combined data to gauge the impact of mobile connectivity on night lights. Preliminary results, available upon request, suggest that the villages that were covered under SMIP programme are on an average more brightly lit than uncovered villages after controlling for other factors.
Catch-up as a survival strategy: the case of Indian solar power industry
Abstract: In this study, we evaluate the strategies of the emerging market firms in the context of newly emerging industries. We use the case of Indian solar power industry for a qualitative analysis. We note that, in emerging industries with intense competition, the emerging market firms are exposed to global competition in their home market right from the early years. Unlike cooperative settings where emerging market firms learn from the entrant multinational enterprises (MNEs) and slowly upgrade their capabilities, the competitive domestic markets shorten their catch-up clock. As a result, their long term survival depends on how quickly they catch-up, both in output and innovation capabilities. Catch-up strategies in these contexts are not just meant for capability upgrading and international growth, but even for surviving the competition at home.