Thinking of a Career in Emergency Management?
- BY Nicole Pelette
The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) seeks qualified applicants for positions as Research Associates for projects on agriculture, education, environment, finance, health, labor, and governance in locations around the world. The projects study a variety of topics within the previously listed fields. The positions offer an opportunity to gain first-hand field management experience in an organization undertaking cutting-edge development research. These positions are located primarily in developing countries around the world and the principal investigators are J-PAL affiliated professors.
Electricity subsidies for agriculture have been meant as a lifeline to farmers, allowing the widespread use of irrigation with electric pumps to extract groundwater. Instead, they have locked rural India into a destructive cycle of groundwater depletion and bad power supply. Farmers, given electricity for free, use too much, draining groundwater and worsening poverty (Sekhri, 2014). Meanwhile, because supplying below cost loses money, electricity distribution companies have to ration rural customers to stay afloat. These discoms (distribution companies) have a collective USD 100 billion of debt, and in many states supply rural areas only eight hours per day.
The question of this study is: can a change in delivery mechanism of agricultural subsidy to the farmers make both farmers and discoms better off? This study will design, implement and evaluate a subsidy delivery innovation that aims to make farmers better off while reducing discom losses and the subsidy burden on the state government. The scheme design offers farmers a lump-sum subsidy (a fixed amount per month) in exchange for agreeing to pay a full price for electricity. Because farmers would receive a lump-sum subsidy, they would be better off, since they could always use the money to buy the same power they got before. The discoms would be better off also, since the higher price per unit of energy would induce farmers to conserve power and water. The evaluation would then ask: what is the take-up of this alternate subsidy delivery mechanism? How much does the higher marginal price induce conservation of electricity and groundwater? How does its take-up affect the distribution company’s costs and losses and the farmer’s productivity?
Research Associate Roles and Responsibilities:
The RA will work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety tasks including, but not limited to:
Desired Qualifications and Experience: