We attended our first conference of the summer in San Diego last week: the 4th Annual Summer Conference of the Association of Environmental and Resources Economists (AERE). Not only did the conference feature three sessions titled “Environment and Development,” it also had development flavored papers appearing in sessions on forests, water, natural disasters, climate, and growth (full program is available here), offering us development economists plenty to do and see.
Following our round up of young researchers’ work at the 12th Annual Midwest International Economic Development Conference (MWIEDC) in Madison in April, here are some works in progress and topics that caught our attention in San Diego (watch the authors’ sites for full papers):
- Fuelwood markets in rural India: both fuelwood sales and the number of fuelwood sellers increase with proximity to towns, likely indicating that fuelwood collection (and deforestation) is driven not only by rural household demand but also by demand from nearby towns [Chakravorty, Pelli, Risch].
- Fertilizer management in Bangladesh: a simple rule-of-thumb tool, such as a leaf color chart, can help farmers time applications of nitrogen fertilizer, suggesting considerable scope for productivity gains through better management of inputs [Islam].
- Energy saving technologies in Kyrgyzstan: a randomized experiment suggests that the use of compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs has a significant impact on household electricity consumption and learning is important for their continued use [Meeks, Carranza].
- Market power in sanitation markets in Senegal: truck driver collusion in sanitation markets in Dakar sets prices and influences households’ choice of mechanical vs. manual ‘desludging’ (emptying of septic tanks or waste pits) [Houde, Lipscomb, Schechter].
- Measuring preferences for cookstove attributes in Northern Ghana: households place greater value on reduction in smoke and fuel use, rather than reduction in cooking time or cookstove manufacturing origin (as part of a broader interdisciplinary study on cleaner burning cookstove technologies) [Dickinson, Hsu, Kanyomse, Oduro].
- Deforestation in the Amazon: improvements in monitoring and law enforcement are the main drivers of the slowdown in Amazon deforestation in the 2000s. However, small-scale deforestation, which is undetectable by a new satellite-based monitoring system, is on the rise [Assuncao, Gandour, Pessoa, Rocha].