Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2020||Information, Technology Adoption and Productivity: The Role of Mobile Phones in Agriculture|
with Apoorv Gupta, Andrea Tesei: w27192
We study the effect of information on technology adoption and productivity in agriculture. Our empirical strategy exploits the expansion of the mobile phone network in previously uncovered areas of rural India coupled with the availability of call centers for agricultural advice. We measure information on agricultural practices by analyzing the content of 2.5 million phone calls made by farmers to one of India's leading call centers for agricultural advice. We find that areas receiving coverage from new towers and with no language barriers between farmers and advisers answering their calls experience higher adoption of high yielding varieties of seeds and other complementary inputs, as well as higher increase in agricultural productivity. Our estimates indicate that information frictions ...
|May 2019||Structural Transformation, Industrial Specialization, and Endogenous Growth|
with Paula Bustos, Juan Manuel Castro-Vincenzi, Joan Monras: w25871
The introduction of new technologies in agriculture can foster structural transformation by freeing workers who find occupation in other sectors. The traditional view is that this reallocation of workers towards manufacturing can lead to industrial development. However, when workers moving to manufacturing are mostly unskilled, this process reinforces a country's comparative advantage in unskilled-labor intensive industries. To the extent that these industries undertake less innovative activities, this change in industrial specialization can lead to lower long run growth. We highlight this mechanism in an endogenous growth model and provide empirical evidence using a large and exogenous increase in agricultural productivity due to the legalization of genetically engineered soy in Brazil. ...
|October 2018||Household Debt and Recession in Brazil|
with Gabriel Garber, Atif Mian, Amir Sufi: w25170
Brazil experienced one of the most severe recessions in its history from 2014 to 2016. Following a pattern shown for previous economic downturns in other countries, the Brazilian recession was preceded by a substantial increase in household debt from 2003 to 2014. This study utilizes a novel individual level data set on household borrowing in order to provide details of the household debt boom. The data set allows for a decomposition of the rise in household debt by the type of debt and by the source of debt, and it allows for an analysis of the income of individuals taking on more debt during the boom. We conclude with an exploration of potential causes of the rise in household debt.