Research

Ongoing Projects

  1. Analysis of the impact of COVID19 in India and the rest of the world, along with Prof.  Anaka Aiyar and Madhumitha Srinivasan.

  2. Impact of climate change on electricity demand in India. 

Master's Thesis: Impact of climate change on electricity demand in India.

Advisor: Prof. K. S. Kavi Kumar

Available evidence suggests that the electric sector is highly sensitive to climate change. However, there is limited literature on the effect of extreme temperatures on peak demand, which is the highest load observed during a given period of time. For a developing country like India, assessing such relationships has significant policy implications on the future costs of climate change.


I use high-frequency multi-year state-level data to estimate the relationship between peak electricity demand and temperature in India. I employ time-series regression models, for all 29 Indian states to estimate the temperature -load response curves. The curves show that there will be region-specific polarization in electricity demand, suggesting that climate mitigation strategies against electricity demand must also be regionally calibrated. 

Research Papers

1. The Impact of the Economic and Non-Economic Factors on Life Expectancy and DALY: A Panel data analysis 

 

Life expectancy is often treated as a necessary but insufficient indicator of health. After all, the quality of a life itself can have a significant role in judging the health status of a nation. In this regard, discussions on Disability
Adjusted Life Years (DALY) become important. Therefore, I examine both life expectancy and DALY rates using a panel data framework.

 

The analysis sheds light on the important economic and non-economic factors for both health indicators on a global scale for 31 low-income countries, 33 middle-income, and 33 high-income countries. The data was obtained from standard data repositories from the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, the International Labor Organisation, and the World Health Organisation for the period 2000 - 2017.

2. Understanding Household Fuel Choice and its Implications for the Fuel Tax Regime

Overreliance on biomass-based fuels such as firewood, coal, and crop residue has resulted in extensive indoor air pollution in India, leading to both productive and health consequences. In such circumstances, questions arise on the effectiveness of public policies such as the subsidization of LPG and kerosene.

 

In this paper, I examine the socio-economic characteristics that drive household fuel choice, using a multinomial logit model on two rounds of  IHDS data. I also use the results to suggest some alternative policy measures to the existing subsidization regime.

3. Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment: A Review of Vulnerability Measures

Assessing vulnerability is an integral part of climate adaptation strategies. But the different interpretations of the definition of vulnerability and the multitude of assessment methodologies have hindered the development of a universally acceptable and comparable assessment framework.

 

I conduct a critical study of the available literature on climate change vulnerability to understand the evolution of the definition of climate vulnerability and the practical differences in methodologies used in the last few decades.

 

4. Energy Poverty and Sustainability

Energy poverty is the inability of households to avail clean, affordable, and adequate access to energy services such that it has significant repercussions on their overall welfare. With developing countries facing the overwhelming effects of both increasing poverty and decreasing environmental quality, understanding the nexus between the two becomes essential on the path towards a sustainable life.

 

This paper conducts a critical review of the consequences of energy poverty from an economic, health, environmental, and gender perspective. I also examine the current state of energy poverty in India and review the suggested sustainable solutions.

5.Economic Valuation of the Damages due to Oil Spills: A review of the 2017 Ennore Oil Spill

This paper is an overview analysis of the valuation techniques used to calculate the damages caused by major oil spills historically. We deconstruct the effects of an oil spill to better understand which valuation technique best fits that narrative, to arrive at a basic outline of valuation. We then apply this outline to discuss possible valuation methods for the 2017 Ennore oil spill.

6. Project on Analyzing Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-18.

We explore the latest PLFS data source by examining the factors affecting the labor force participation of non-cultivating workers in the Indian informal sector. We employ models such as logit, multinomial logit, and panel data models over Stata,​ as part of our Applied econometric coursework, taught by Prof. Sowmya Dhanaraj.

7. Understanding the impacts of MSP in India.

Farmers' distress was a focal point of contention in the past few years. The current government had emphasized on minimum support price, during the past year budget session, as a possible solution to the rising agrarian distress. But the effectiveness of MSP as a tool remains a source of debate. 

 

The goal of this paper was to understand how and why MSP is calculated. It begins with understanding the data behind MSP and how the costs of production and cultivation are accounted for when calculating it. The differences behind the various costs are discussed, while also noting the differences between the Swaminathan Committee's recommended MSP and the current method of calculating MSP. Finally, we discuss some possible methods to improve the implementation of  MSP as well as some alternative policies to target the agrarian crisis.

8. Synergism among ecosystem services.

Humans are adept at extracting the most utility out of an ecosystem. However, these complex interactions between humans and ecosystems, affect the development and utilization of ecosystem services. These services are therefore not actually independent. Rather they come in bundles and can interact across space, time, or even other ecosystem services. Thus, creating synergisms and trade-offs.

 

It is here that the dilemma of ecosystem decisions arises. Ecosystem service of one kind could interact with other factors to create positive or negative synergies, the effect of which may not always be observable or predictable. Therefore, managers and stakeholders have to come together to attempt to quantify ecosystem services. This paper examines the importance of decision making. I further analyze the mechanics that drive the interactions between ecosystem services by focussing on two ecosystems, the marine ecosystem as the ‘natural’ ecosystem and the agricultural ecosystem as the ‘artificial’ ecosystem.

The above research papers may be made available on request.

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