Centre for Research on the Economics of Climate, Food, Energy and Environment

Research

Selected publications are listed under each of the core research themes of CECFEE

Climate

  • An integrated assessment of vulnerability of floods using composite index – A district level analysis for Bihar, India.
    Authors : Rupak Kumar Jha, Haripriya Gundimeda (2019).International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 35 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2019.101074. 
  • Does Collective Action Sequester Carbon? Evidence from the Nepal Community Forestry Program.
    Authors : E Somanathan, Prakash Jha, Harisharan Luintel, Rajesh Bista, Michael Toman, Naya Paudel (2018). World Development. doi : 101: 133-141
  • Unfounded assumptions in linking crop-damaging temperature and suicide in India
    Authors : S Das (2018) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 115 (2), E116-E116
  • Evaluating climate change adaptation through evacuation decisions: a case study of cyclone management in India
    Authors : S Das (2018) Climatic Change 1-15
  • Greening offices: willingness to pay for green-certified office spaces in Bengaluru, India.
    Authors : Haripriya Gundimeda, Pleasa Abraham (2018) Environment, Development and Sustainability 1-19. 10.1007/s10668-018-0265-1
  • Global warming and local air pollution have reduced wheat yields in India.
    Authors : Ridhima Gupta, E. Somanathan and Sagnik Dey (2017). Climatic Change. doi : 140(3-4): 593-604
  • Biogas: Clean energy access with low-cost mitigation of global warming.
    Authors : E Somanathan, With Randall Bluffstone. Environmental and Resource Economics (2015). 62: 265–277.
  • Cheap oil, climate change mitigation in India.
    Authors : Chakravarty, S (February,2015). Economic and Political Weekly L (9),38-43.
  • Conserving forests for biodiversity – status and trends from the global forest resource assessment 2015.
    Authors : E Somanathan, David Morales-Hidalgo and Sonja N. Oswalt. Forest Ecology and Management (2015), 352: 68-77.
  • A view from India” in Towards a workable and effective climate regime. Scott Barrett, Carlo Carraro, and Jaime de Melo (Eds). VoxEU.org, 2015.
    Authors : Somanathan E., T. Sterner, T. Sugiyama, D. Chimanikire, N. K. Dubash, J. Essandoh-Yeddu, S. Fifita, L. Goulder, A. Jaffe, X. Labandeira, S. Managi, C. Mitchell, J.P. Montero, F. Teng, and T. Zylicz, 2014: National and Sub-national Policies and Institutions. In: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Edenhofer, O., R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P. Eickemeier, B. Kriemann, J. Salvolainen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel and J. Minx (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

Summary

Biomass burning of agricultural field residue during wheat and rice harvesting periods in the Indo-Gangetic plains has led to substantial emission of trace gases and particles. This paper seeks to address the regulation of emissions from open field burning of rice residue in Punjab, India by first uncovering the factors that explain on field residue burning of rice residue in Punjab. The results suggest that the use of a combine harvester was the single most important determinant of the decision to burn rice residue. The decision to use the combine harvester was in turn determined by the rice variety sown by a farmer. Rice residue are largely burnt, as machinery for planting into loose residue was hitherto unavailable. The recently developed Happy Seeder technology overcomes this problem. It is a tractor-mounted machine that can sow wheat into the rice residue left by the combine harvester thereby precluding its burning. This paper concludes that Happy Seeder is a low-cost alternative to open field burning of rice residue vis-a-vis conventional tillage. I also find no evidence of an increase or decrease in mean yield of wheat from incorporation of the residue with Happy Seeder compared to conventional tillage. These results have important implication for mitigation policies to reduce residue burning in this region

  • The Distributional Impact of Climate Change: Why Food Prices Matter.
    Authors : E Somanathan, Eshita Gupta and Bharat Ramaswami
  • Community Managed Forest Groups and Preferences for REDD+ Contract Attributes: A choice experiment survey of communities in Nepal.
    Authors : E Somanathan, Sahan T. M. Dissanayake, Prakash Jha, Bhim Adhikari, Rajesh Bista, Randall Bluffstone, Harisharan Luintel, Peter Martinsson, Naya Sharma Paudel, Michael Toman

Food

  • Farmers’ choice of market channels and producer prices in India: Role of transportation and communication networks
    Author : Digvijay Singh Negi, Pratap S. Birthal, Devesh Roy, Md. Tajuddin Khan (2018) Food Policy, 2018
  • MEASURING WHAT MATTERS IN AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SYSTEMS A synthesis of the results and recommendations of TEEB for Agriculture and Food’s Scientific and Economic Foundations Report.
    Author : Pengue, Walter & Muller, Alexander & Sukhdev, Pavan & Gemmill Herren, Barbara & Gundimeda, Haripriya & Hamm, Michael & Hussain, Salman & Lobos Alba, Ivonne & May, Peter & Obst, Carl & Sandhu, Harpindher & Tirado, Cristina & Zhang, Wei. (2018)
  • TEEBAgriFood methodology: an overview of evaluation and valuation methods and tools. InTEEB for Agriculture & Food: Scientific andEconomic Foundations
    Author : Gundimeda, H., Markandya, A. and Bassi, A.M. (2018) Geneva: UN Environment. Chapter 7, 247-295
  • Child Welfare Programs and Child Nutrition: Evidence from a Mandated School Meal Program.
    Author : Farzana Afridi. Journal of Development Economics, 92(2):152-165, Reprinted in ‘The Economics of Food Security‘, The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics series Vol II, eds. Raghbendra Jha and Rajiv Gaiha, November 2016, Edward Elgar.
  • Biogas: Clean energy access with low-cost mitigation of global warming.
    Authors : E Somanathan, Randall Bluffstone. Environmental and Resource Economics (2015). 62: 265–277.

Summary

Much of the debate between the European and U.S. positions about labeling of genetically modified foods has been whether consumers perceive labels as a source of information or a signal to change behavior. In this paper, we provide an experimental framework for examining these roles of information and signaling. While previous studies have focused on the impact of labels on consumer behavior, our interest is also on what happens prior to the expression of aversion to GM labeled foods. In particular, the experiment design allows the researcher to estimate a lower bound of the informational impact of labels on GM food aversion. The other novel feature of this paper is that unlike earlier studies, it uses subjects from a developing country.

Summary

This paper measures the percolation of food subsidy expenditures to the poor. The paper proposes a metric that takes into account the depth and width of income transfer. This metric is applied to food subsidy expenditure in India and the Philippines. Both countries operate in kind transfer schemes. The major finding is that neither country does well in the Percolation Index. Participation rates are slow, and households, both por and non poor, end up receiving less than the food subsidy due to them. The in kind subsidies face particular challeneges with respect to illegal arbitrage and fraud and wioth respect to excess cost incurred by state agencies. If this ‘buffer’ can be diverted to actual distribution, then coverage can be increased without substantial increase in public expenditure.

Summary

It is well known that in-kind transfers of food grains, carried out in India through the PDS system, suffers significantly due to loss, wastage, inefficiencies and poor targeting. This paper considers an alternative means to implement transfers, by considering the impact of introducing Biometric identification of individuals and transfer to these individuals and not households. By utilizing the Universal ID that is being rolled off by the Government of India, a weekly transfer scheme to the beneficiaries can remove the need for extensive government machinery. The authors have used data from the 61st round of the NSSO, to analyze the impact of introducing such a system of individual cash transfers, and conclude that the impact of such a change seems promising enough to be tried out in practice.

  • The Distributional Impact of Climate Change: Why Food Prices Matter.
    Authors : E Somanathan, Eshita Gupta and Bharat Ramaswami

Energy

  • Surprises up the energy ladder.
    Authors : Andrew Pascale, Shoibal Chakravarty, Paul Lant, Simon Smart and Chris Graig Nepal.  (March,2017).

Abstract

Traditional discussions of the relationships between energy, CO2 emissions and human development capture between-country differences, but fail to expose within-country energy and CO2 emissions inequality. Household survey data offers researchers a window through which to better understand the unequal distribution of energy use and the Human Development Index (HDI) at a sub-national level. This study uses India Human Development Survey (IHDS) data to generate household consumption and emissions distributions for India in both 2005 and 2012, and consults the EORA global multi-regional input output database for sectoral intensities of India’s economy. The analysis uses HDI 2015 methodology. Results indicate that non-solid fuel use patterns have changed little across India’s income deciles between 2005 and 2012; that total direct household energy use emissions (including non-commercial biomass but not including direct transport emissions) are surprisingly flat across both deciles and years analysed; and that indirect emissions represent the largest CO2 emissions growth area across deciles and study years. While emissions inequality has clearly increased between top and bottom deciles in the seven years between IHDS surveys, overall trends in HDI inequality between deciles are harder to identify. Results suggest two main areas for consideration. Addressing energy poverty and pressing welfare issues connected to energy use in India, such as household air pollution from solid fuels, can be aided by an apparent emissions neutral transition to modern energy carriers. However, the wealth creation needed to sustain a transition out of energy poverty appears to be accompanied by indirect CO2 emissions growth, especially in the richest deciles. Addressing both of these challenges at the same time requires a coherent strategy that targets energy poverty and wealth creation in the poorest deciles while reducing the emissions intensity of the sectors – notably transportation – of the Indian and global economies supporting increasing household consumption.

  • Is Solar power cheaper than Coal?
    Authors : Mitavachan, H., Chakravarty, S. Current Science 109(12), 2180-2181.
  • Biogas: Clean energy access with low-cost mitigation of global warming.
    Authors : E Somanathan and Randall Bluffstone. Environmental and Resource Economics (2015). 62: 265–277.

Summary

The climate sensitivity of electricity demand in India is likely to be highly sensitive to growth in income. Thus, both intensive and extensive adjustments in cooling and heating will determine future climate change impacts on the demand of electricity. In this project, the author has analyzed a national level panel dataset of 28 Indian states for the period 2005-2009 to investigate the relation between electricity demand and the ambient weather conditions, conditioned on the income levels of consumers. This study shows that the estimated marginal effect of a hotter climate is greater when income is higher. The preferred estimates indicate that climate change will increase electricity demand by 6.9 percent with 4 percent p.a. GDP growth and 8.6 percent with 6 per- cent p.a. GDP growth in 2030 over the reference scenario of no climate change. The results also suggest that over 50 percent of the climate change impacts will be due to extensive adjustments. Therefore, electricity demand models that do not account for extensive adjustments are likely to underestimate the climate change impacts on electricity demand especially in developing countries like India.

Summary

This paper estimates the sensitivity of electricity demand to the apparent temperature in Delhi, for the period 2000-2009. In this study, the author has employed a semi parametric variable coefficient approach to model the non linear time varying impact of climatic factors on electricity demand. The analysis finds an increase in cooling demand per unit increase in summer temperatures, as well as an asymmetry in the impact of climate change on the electricity demand in Delhi. In particular, this paper can help policy makers to plan demand side management during the hot months of April and May, via dynamic pricing and other control mechanisms that shift electricity loads from periods of peak demand to periods of surplus supply. This paper can also assist electricity production and sales companies to draw up long term plans of electricity generation and risk management infrastructure.

Environment

  • An integrated assessment of vulnerability of floods using composite index – A district level analysis for Bihar, India.
    Authors : Rupak Kumar Jha, Haripriya Gundimeda (2019).International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 35 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2019.101074. 
  • Does Collective Action Sequester Carbon? Evidence from the Nepal Community Forestry Program.
    Authors : E Somanathan, Prakash Jha, Harisharan Luintel, Rajesh Bista, Michael Toman, Naya Paudel (2018). World Development. doi : 101: 133-141
  • Valuing Cultural Services of the Kailash Sacred Landscape for Sustainable Management
    Authors : M Nepal, R Rai, S Das, L Bhatta, R Kotru, M Khadayat, R Rawal, G Negi (2018) Sustainability 10 (10), 3638
  • Forest dependence and poverty in the Himalayas—Differences between India and Nepal
    Authors : P Shyamsundar, S Das, M Nepal (2018) Ecology, Economy and Society 205-223
  • Biodiversity/ecosystem services scenario exercises from the Asia–Pacific: typology, archetypes and implications for sustainable development goals (SDGs)
    Authors : DasGupta, R., Hashimoto, S. & Gundimeda, H. (2018) Sustainability Science 10.1007/s11625-018-0647-1
  • Have the Special Economic Zones Succeeded in Attracting FDI?—Analysis for India
    Authors : DasGupta, R., Hashimoto, S. & Gundimeda, H. (2018) Theoretical Economics Letters 10.1007/s11625-018-0647-1
  • Encouraging the urban households to segregate the waste they generate: insights from a field experiment in Delhi, India
    Authors : Wadehra, S and Mishra A (2018) Resources, Conservation and Recycling Volume 134, pp 239-247
  • Summary for policymakers of the regional assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services for Asia and the Pacific of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
    Authors : Karki, Madhav & Senaratna Sellamuttu, S & Okayasu, S & Suzuki, W & A. Acosta, L & Alhafedh, Y & Anticamara, Jonathan & Ausseil, Anne-Gaelle & Davies, K & Gasparatos, Alexandros & Gundimeda, Haripriya & Faridah-Hanum, I & Kohsaka, R & Kumar, R & Managi, S & Wu, N & Rajvanshi, Asha & Rawat, Gopal & Riordan, Philip & C. Youn, Y. (2018) IPBES (2018)
  • Global warming and local air pollution have reduced wheat yields in India.
    Authors : Ridhima Gupta, E. Somanathan and Sagnik Dey (2017). Climatic Change. doi:140(3-4): 593-604
  • Biogas: Clean energy access with low-cost mitigation of global warming.
    Authors : E Somanathan, Randall Bluffstone. Environmental and Resource Economics (2015). 62: 265–277.
  • Conserving forests for biodiversity – status and trends from the global forest resource assessment 2015.
    Authors : E Somanathan, David Morales-Hidalgo and Sonja N. Oswalt. Forest Ecology and Management (2015), 352: 68-77.

Summary

This paper analyzes the effect of flood control techniques, embankments in particular, on human welfare- using the Kosi river as a case in point.Conventional wisdom is to make sure floods are prevented, or at least minimized as far as possible, to oppose the obvious destructive effects they have on human life and property. However, given that embankments prevent floods only temporarily, a cost benefit analysis of embankments as a water policy instrument becomes necessary. This paper takes a first step in this direction, and concludes that in terms of a number of measures of welfare, regularly flooded villages are no worse off than their counterparts which are away from rivers and therefore do not suffer from incidence of floods.

Summary

This paper looks at the causal link between a higher level of environmental awareness and the actual level of environmental quality achieved in developing countries. Most current works presume such a causal linkage, where a higher degree of environmental awareness translates into governmental regulatory action, through public demand. This study indicates a positive impact of information dissemination only so far as individual behavior and quality of household hygiene, sanitation etc are concerned. However, it is only the link between public awareness and demand for better environment that is robust, but there is no systematic developing country evidence that this demand translates into actual improvement in environmental quality, through the political process and governmental regulation.

Summary

This article studies the long-run effects of the decentralized management of forests and forest resources, to measure the effect of devolution of control of forests to village councils in the Indian central Himalayas. Since 1930, areas of state-managed forest in the central Himalayas of India have increasingly been devolved to management by local communities. The authors have used government data to find the cost per hectare of managing state forests and our survey data to find the cost per hectare of council forest management. This paper has found that state forests cost at least 7 times as much per hectare to administer as do council-managed forests and does no worse, and possibly better, at conservation than state management. Geographic proximity and historical and ecological information are used to separate the effects of management from those of possible confounding factors (such as political, economic and ecological changes)

  • Community Managed Forest Groups and Preferences for REDD+ Contract Attributes: A choice experiment survey of communities in Nepal.
    Authors : E Somanathan, Sahan T. M. Dissanayake, Prakash Jha, Bhim Adhikari, Rajesh Bista, Randall Bluffstone, Harisharan Luintel, Peter Martinsson, Naya Sharma Paudel, Michael Toman.

     

Others

  • Gender differences in health expenditure of rural Cancer Patients: Evidence from a Public tertiary care facility in India
    Authors : A Batra, I Gupta, A Mukhopadhyay (2018) Journal of Quantitative Economics 16 (3), 615-629
  • Redistributing teachers using local transfers
    Authors : A Mukhopadhyay, AthisiiKayina and Anugula Reddy (2018) World Development. doi: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.06.010
  • Improving learning outcomes through information provision: Experimental evidence from Indian villages
    Authors : F Afridi, B Barooah, R Somanathan (2018) Journal of Development Economics. doi:10.1016/j.jdeveco.2018.08.002
  • Editorial Introduction to Special Issue on “Gender, Family and Development”
    Authors : R Somanathan (2018) Journal of Demographic Economics 84(1), 1-2. doi:10.1017/dem.2018.4
  • Why are fewer married women joining the work force in rural India? A decomposition analysis over two decades
    Authors : F Afridi, T Dinkelman, K Mahajan (2018) Journal of Population Economics 31 (3), 783-818
  • The Measurement and Mismeasurement of Social Difference
    Authors : R Somanathan (2018) ideas.repec.org
  • Social Security with Differential Mortality
    Authors : M.Bishnu, N. Guo,C. S. Kumru (2018) Journal of Macroeconomics
  • Deterring kickbacks and encouraging entry in public procurement markets: Evidence from firm surveys in 90 developing countries
    Authors : Knack, S., Biletska, N.,Kacker, K. World Bank Economic Review: https://doi.org/10.1093/wber/lhy016
  • Is economic growth linked with comprehensive wealth? Link to state-level analysis in India in S. Managi and P. Kumar edited, Inclusive wealth report 2018 – Measuring Progress towards sustainability
    Authors : Haripriya Gundimeda Tawlor and Francis
  • What’s in a definition? A study on the suitability of the current urban definition in India through its employment guarantee programme
    Authors : Vaidehi Tandel, Komal Hiranandani, Mudit Kapoor (2018) Journal of Asian Economics: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asieco.2018.11.001