[1] Miller, R., Mudenda, L. D., & Sedai, A. K. (2023). Persistent Agricultural Shocks and Child Poverty. The Journal of Development Studies, 1-16. [Paper can be accessed here]

This study shows how persistent agricultural shocks in Ethiopia affect education, health and labor outcomes through a time-use study of young people aged 5-22. Leveraging five rounds of the Young Lives Study from 2002-2016, we use dynamic panel instrumental variable regressions to account for the unobserved heterogeneity and serial correlation in the estimation. Agricultural shocks significantly reduce schooling participation and time spent in schooling, deteriorate health, and increase both labor force participation and labor time. Household wealth acts as a buffer and mitigates the adverse effects of shocks on schooling. Interestingly, children from wealthier households have a higher likelihood of joining agricultural labor during shocks, but their intensity of child labor is significantly lower compared to poorer households. 

Working Papers:

[1]  "Flush to Flourish: Exploring early sanitation access and childhood cognitive evolution.

This paper uses unique longitudinal data from four low- and middle-income countries to examine the relationship between early-life access to sanitation services and children's cognitive development. The study tracks 8,062 children over 15 years and uses a fixed effects model to analyze the impact of early access to flush toilets and pit latrines on their vocabulary scores, math scores, height-for-age and BMI-for-age z-scores. The study also uses hierarchical linear models to investigate the presence of community spillovers. The findings suggest a significant positive correlation between early access to sanitation services and children's cognitive development, although the results vary across countries. The paper finds evidence of community spillovers for vocabulary but not math. The study also supports a health mechanism: early access to flush toilets is significantly associated with improved height-for-age and BMI-for-age z-scores. 

[2] "Private sanitation facilities at home and psychosocial development in adolescent girls"  (jointly with Ashish K. Sedai, Ray Miller, and Lauren Vilims) [pdf here].

We examine the relationship between access to private sanitation facilities at home and psychosocial development among adolescents aged 12-22 in India and Ethiopia. Using a longitudinal two-way fixed effects model, we find that access to private sanitation (flush toilets or pit latrines in the household) is associated with significantly higher self-efficacy and self-esteem for adolescent girls but not boys. Associations are stronger for girls that live in communities with higher overall access to private sanitation, suggesting relative access may matter more for psychosocial development than absolute access. We also find a significant correlation with improved peer relations for girls in early (age 12 to 15) but not late (age 19 to 22) adolescence. We do not find evidence that results are operating through improved physical health, suggesting there may be a direct impact of private sanitation facilities at home and psychosocial development in adolescent girls. Consistent with a direct channel, we also show private sanitation at home mitigates the likelihood of missing school due to menstruation for Indian girls in early adolescence. These findings suggest interventions should consider not only the health benefits of hygienic waste management, but also the potential gains from improved sanitation experiences for women and girls.

[3] "Fuel, water, and labor: Household's choices and impact on labor in Ethiopia .

This study investigates the factors influencing households' decisions regarding choices of cooking fuel and drinking water sources in rural and small towns of Ethiopia, utilizing data from the Ethiopian Socioeconomic Surveys (ESS) conducted between 2012 and 2016. The study employs probit models (ordered and regular) to examine the effects of improved fuel and water sources on labor outcomes by leveraging variations in access. The findings are that household size, asset ownership, and the education level of the household head as well as their ages, are key determinants influencing the choice of cooking fuel and drinking water. Furthermore, adopting improved water sources significantly and positively impacts family business labor, while using improved cooking fuels significantly enhances agricultural labor. These findings demonstrate the potential benefits of transitioning to improved fuel and water sources in rural Ethiopia, emphasizing the importance of considering social and economic factors in sustainable development initiatives.

[5] "Farm production, marketing, and children’s nutritional outcomes in rural Zambia" (jointly with  Kelvin Mulungu; Chiza Kumwenda; Lukonde Mwelwa). 

Despite increasing agricultural productivity, malnutrition has remained stubbornly high among food producers in many developing countries. We provide new insights to help explain this paradox. In this study, we focus on how the difference between agricultural household nutrition requirements and production kept for home consumption (own-produced nutrition deficiency (OPND)) impacts children’s height-for-age z-scores (HAZ). We also examine if there is a relationship between OPND and market-bought foods and the role of intra-season price changes in nutrition. The analysis uses survey data from 528 households in Zambia and a control function approach to address the endogeneity of OPND. Generally, results show that OPND has a negative effect on HAZ. We find that both underproduction (relative to nutritional requirements) and OPND as a result of selling more than surplus food crops negatively impact nutrition outcomes. The latter suggests that higher productivity may not lead to adequate nutrition if additional food is sold to markets before meeting household nutrition needs. We also find OPND is not significantly associated with buying more food from the market but that it is weakly correlated with a higher diversity of market-bought foods. Households able to take advantage of higher lean season prices purchase more from the market. With imperfect food markets, designing incentives to store own-produced food has the potential to improve the nutrition outcomes of food-producing households.

[6] "Which firms employ older workers?. No. 14/2018. Working Paper, 2019" (jointly with Daniela Andrén and Nicklas Pettersson)

There is an increasing emphasis on the importance of allowing people as they grow older to continue to work according to their work capacity and preferences. This paper builds on earlier literature that shows that firms employ older workers, but they tend not to hire them, and provides an explorative analysis of the establishments that employ older workers in Sweden. A special focus is on how sensitive are the findings when the definition of older workers becomes more restrictive. Using rich employer-employee data from Swedish administrative registers, we find that the differences in establishments’ employment are large enough to explain some of the observed differences across definitions. The retirement age in the guaranteed pension scheme, i.e., 65 years, seems to be one of the institutional settings that affect both the employees' and employers’ decision for work after 65, but also the establishment’s size, age, and ownership.

Work in Progress:

[1] "Minimum subsistence requirement and the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC)" 

Growth models abstract from developing country-specific traits such as poverty and minimum consumption requirement. This theoretical paper considers both the demand side and supply side and incorporates subsistence consumption needs to observe the evolution of the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC). I use an endogenous growth model with a minimum consumption requirement to achieve this. The theoretical findings confirms the existence of the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) and sustainable growth in the long run. In addition, the core finding shows that that with a minimum consumption requirement (MCR) representing poverty, the turning point of the EKC is delayed. The paper will use structural estimators to do simulations of these theoretical findings by applying them to data from developing countries.y reforms should target individuals with varying country, community, and household features.     

[2] "Relationship between the net foreign asset and net domestic credit in Africa." 

This paper tests the monetary approach to balance payments for Africa by using data from the World Bank for all African countries for the period 1990-2019. The study employs OLS, GMM, and Panel data modeling. Despite the variation across countries and time, the study confirms that the balance of payments for Africa is a monetary phenomenon. Most of the monetary variables are found to be significant with the exception of a proxy for interest rates.

Other works:

[1"Corporate income tax rate and foreign direct investment: The case of southern African economies"

[2] "Pollution, electricity consumption, and income in the context of trade openness in Zambia"