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The Impact of Groundwater Accessibility on the Performance of Firms
July 17, 2018

NCAER Conference Room

NCAER invited Dr Sheetal Sekhri, Department of Economics, University of Virginia, USA for a seminar on “The Impact of Groundwater Accessibility on the Performance of Firms” on July 17, 2018. This seminar was attended by NCAER research faculty and invited guests. The presentation by Dr Sekhri was based on her joint work with Jiahua Liu. In their study,  the authors evaluated the impact of groundwater accessibility on the performance of firms. The authors used a physical limitation that discontinuously raises the cost of accessing groundwater at a depth of 8 meters to examine how such a jump in the cost of groundwater access affects firm outcomes. Employing nationally representative Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Census data along with groundwater measures from observation wells in India in a regression discontinuity design framework, the authors found that firm outcomes worsen in areas where the cost of groundwater access is high. The authors examined mechanisms and found that evidence weighs in favour of groundwater inaccessibility changing the composition of firms for the micro, small, and medium enterprises as opposed to the dampening of demand due to a decline in the agricultural sector. The authors did not find evidence of forward linkages in the agricultural and industrial sectors.


Sheetal Sekhri is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the Department of Economics, University of Virginia, USA. She is also a Fellow at the International Growth Centre, London School of Economics. Her fields of interest are development economics, applied microeconomics, environmental and natural resource economics. Her research focuses on the delivery of public services and safety nets, higher education and skill development, and water-related issues in India. She has a BS from Iowa State University, and an MA and PhD in Economics from Brown University.