Past Grants

Every year EmPac supports academic inquiry by offering grants to fund innovative research. Following is a listing and short summaries of grants awarded between 2010 and 2007.

2010–11 Recipients

  • Joshua Graff Zivin - "Climate Change and Agriculture Worker Productivity"
  • Edmund Malesky - "The Adverse Effects of Sunshine: A Field Experiment Testing the Impact of Transparency on Delegate Performance in an Authoritarian Assembly"
  • Craig McIntosh - "China Dataweb and Student Working Papers"
  • Junjie Zhang - "Evaluate the Impact of Clean Development Mechanism in China"

2009–10 Recipients

  • Miles Kahler - “Politics in the New Hard Times”
  • Edmund Malesky - "Examining Vietnam's National Assembly"
  • Craig McIntosh - "The Impact of Maintaining Female School Enrollment Through Conditional Cash Transfers on Risky Sexual Behavior"
  • Chris Woodruff - "Differences Between Microenterprises Owned by Males and Females in Sri Lanka and Ghana"

2008–09 Recipients

  • Craig McIntosh - "The Effects of Schooling and Income on Sexual Behavior and HIV Infection Among Women in Malawi"
  • Steven Weymouth - "The Effect of Democratization on Economic Concentration"
  • Chris Woodruff - "Sri Lanka Microenterprise Survey"

2007–08 Recipients

  • Craig McIntosh - "The Impact of Introducing Mobile Telephony into Rural Africa"
  • Lei Meng - "Chinese Rural-to-Urban Migration"
  • Jessica Wallack - "India's Infrastructure Reforms"

2010-11 Recipients

Joshua Graff Zivin, Professor, UC San Diego GPS

Title: "Climate Change and Agriculture Worker Productivity"

Summary:

The exact effect of pollution on public health and by extension worker productivity is poorly understood. Since less developed countries are often more polluted than the U.S. and climate change will increase these pollution levels disproportionately in more tropical regions, they are expanding through this grant their analysis to examine impacts in Latin America. This will also increase the ability to assess whether the results obtained using data from U.S. workers generalize to other settings. The project led to the published paper “The Impact of Pollution on Worker Productivity,” (2012) which assessed the impact of pollution on worker productivity by relating exogenous daily variations in ozone with productivity of agricultural workers as recorded under piece rate contracts.

Edmund Malesky, Professor, UC San Diego GPS

Title: "The Adverse Effects of Sunshine: A Field Experiment Testing the Impact of Transparency on Delegate Performance in an Authoritarian Assembly"

Summary:

This project continued research that began in 2009. While the previous research on the Vietnamese national Assembly was fruitful, a final test was necessary to determine the relationship between transparency and delegate behavior in an authoritarian parliament. Malesky’s first randomized experiment eliminated the incentive hypothesis, which suggests that legislators respond positively to transparency because they seek reelection. We found no evidence for such behavior. In May 2011, Vietnam held elections for the 13th national Assembly. The experiment was repeated to see how voters would respond to transparent information about delegate performance. It replicated the first treatment on a new group of 147 delegates directly before the 2011 election, to determine how Vietnamese voters respond to information about their incumbent delegate’s performance.

Malesky now an associate professor at Duke University, has written many publications regarding this research.

Craig McIntosh, Professor, UC San Diego GPS

Title: "China Dataweb and Student Working Papers"

Summary:

This unique project combined collecting quality data on China and supporting practical training for students. Quality data on China, especially from the local level, is often rare, and GPS students’ research efforts have created a number of unique datasets. Making this work available enables other researchers to avoid wasting effort recreating these datasets and stimulate academic China research. McIntosh worked with 10 students to create the following data sets and papers.

Eric Anderson - "Innovation in China: Estimating the Effectiveness of China's Science and Technology Industrial Parks"
Paper | Data Summary | Data Set

Liu Chen - "Evaluation of the Existence of a Housing Bubble in China"
Paper | Data Summary | Data Set

Liu Cui - "The Impact of China's Gansu and Inner Mongolia Poverty Reduction Project on Net Rural Income Per Capita Growth"
Paper | Data Summary | Data Set

Yang Fan - "Testing for Pollution Haven Behavior & Evidence from China"
Paper | Data Summary | Data Set

Luo Nan - "The Impact of Emission Standards on Reduction of Air Pollutants in China"
Paper | Data Summary | Data Set

Tai Qiuqing - "The Effect of 1999 Agricultural Tax Reform on Chinese Farmers' Net Income Growth"
Paper | Data Summary | Data Set

Jeffrey Warner - "Regional Development Discrepancies and Public Policy: Evaluating China's Western Development Strategy"
Paper | Data Summary | Data Set

Yujia Wu - "Does China's ‘Two Control Zones’ Policy Control Sulfur Dioxide Emissions?"
Paper | Data Summary | Data Set

Li Xin - "The Effect of China's New Cooperative Medical Scheme on Rural Utilization of Preventive Medical Care and Rural Households' Health Status"
Paper | Data Summary

Shijie Yang - "The Impact of Hukou Reform on the Rural and Urban Income Gap"
Paper | Data Summary | Data Set

Junjie Zhang, Professor, UC San Diego GPS

Title: "Evaluate the Impact of Clean Development Mechanism in China"

Summary:

Zhang’s research is on the cutting edge of challenging environmental integrity in not only industrialized countries, but also laying the groundwork needed for setting, controlling and reviewing emerging carbon markets in developing countries. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is a project-based carbon market, which enables industrialized countries to reduce costs of compliance with the Kyoto Protocol by implementing climate mitigation projects in developing countries. The CDM has been successful in mobilizing the investment of public and private sectors from both developed and developing countries for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Zhang proposes a new econometric approach to assess CDM and is acquiring very unique data that has never been used before. This project has led to publications and working papers. Visit his website to learn more

2009-10 Recipients

Miles Kahler, Professor, UC San Diego GPS

Title: “Politics in the New Hard Times”

Summary:

The recent global economic downturn is bound to have significant political repercussions. Earlier depressions led to the rise of new political movements, reshuffling of political coalitions and the transformation of the role of government in the economy. Kahler’s conference examined – at this early stage in the 21st century’s first great financial and economic rupture – those likely political effects. A conference was held in April 2010 and convened a distinguished interdisciplinary team of scholars to consider the effects of macroeconomic events on politics. This project led to publishing of the book titled, "Networked Politics".

Edmund Malesky, Professor, UC San Diego GPS

Title: "Examining Vietnam's National Assembly"

Summary:

Recent scholars have argued that authoritarian regimes that co-opt oppositional parties into an effective legislature last longer than under-institutionalized regimes, are less likely to experience civil conflict and provide more stable economic environments, which leads to faster economic growth. Malesky’s project sought to provide empirical evidence to back up this theoretical argument by examining Vietnam’s National Assembly (VNA), which has been dominated by the Communist Party. This project had two goals: (1) to conduct an exhaustive analysis of the query sessions, whether delegates represent their constituencies, and whether ministerial behavior changes in regards to this query; and (2) to examine how citizens respond to information about delegate behavior. Now at Duke University, the project was expanded in 2010-2011 (see above).

Craig McIntosh, Professor, UC San Diego GPS

Title: "The Impact of Maintaining Female School Enrollment Through Conditional Cash Transfers on Risky Sexual Behavior"

Summary:

Over 40.3 million people around the world are infected with HIV, with about 65% of them living in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most research focuses on finding a cure and on finding better treatments, but it also needs to focus on preventative measures that decrease the risk of being infected. McIntosh’s project examined the connection between schooling and HIV infection risk, trying to answer the question “What impact does maintaining female school enrollment through conditional cash transfers have on risky sexual behavior?” It looked at three aspects: (1) education peer effects; (2) network effects on sexual behavior; and (3) network effects of HIV testing. This project was original started in 2009-2009 (see below) and led to several papers. Visit his website to learn more

Chris Woodruff, Professor, UC San Diego GPS

Title: "Differences Between Microenterprises Owned by Males and Females in Sri Lanka and Ghana"

Summary:

Woodruff’s project focused on microenterprises in Sri Lanka and Ghana and examined the differences between microenterprises owned by males and females. It also examined the impact of institutional constraints on the efficiency of the allocation of capital and the multiple constraints to employment growth among enterprises owned by males. The research focused on two specific aspects: (1) addressing the puzzle of lower returns to female owners of microenterprises; and (2) whether it is possible to generate employment growth in addition to income growth in male-owned enterprises. This project was original started in 2009-2009 (see below). Now at the University of Warwick, this research led to several publications.

2008-09 Recipients

Craig McIntosh, Professor, UC San Diego GPS

Title: "The Effects of Schooling and Income on Sexual Behavior and HIV Infection Among Women in Malawi"

Summary:

This project aimed to help the researchers discern the effects of schooling and income on sexual behavior and HIV infection among school-aged women in Malawi. The research sought to understand the causal links between income, schooling status, certain sexual behaviors, and ultimately HIV risk — all critical for informing effective policy interventions. GPS students helped to prepare and clean the data that came out of the field and the researchers have begun to write working papers to present the results. Two GPS students spent time in the field helping to compile detailed maps which include the poverty maps for Malawi and a complete roster of every household and school in the study. A third round of household surveys will begin in December 2009. This project has led to several papers. Visit his website to learn more

Stephan Weymouth, Ph.D. Candidate, UC San Diego Department of Political Science

Title: "The Effect of Democratization on Economic Concentration"

Summary:

The first phase of this project studied the effect of democratization on economic concentration. With the development of a cross-national dataset on competition and law-enforcement in more than 100 developing countries, Weymouth began collecting the data that was used to identify how changes in political competition within countries affect market structure. The second phase of the project involved detailed case studies in Argentina, Chile and Mexico, where he collected congressional roll call voting data on competition policy reforms. The project was completed in December of 2009 as part of his dissertation work. Weymouth is now an assistant professor at Georgetown University.

Chris Woodruff, Professor, UC San Diego GPS

Title: "Sri Lanka Microenterprise Survey"

Summary:

A recently completed project in Sri Lanka showed that additional investments generated very large increases in profits in male-owned enterprises, but no increase in profits in female-owned enterprises. Part of the differing outcome appears to result from women working in low-profit industries. The project generated information on why women choose to work in low-profit sectors and whether they switch to higher-profit sectors after receiving information and training. A second follow-on project with male enterprise owners focused on turning the increases in income into employment generation, through training focused on employee management. A similar project also took place in Ghana. Now at the University of Warwick, this research led to several publications.

2007-08 Recipients

Craig McIntosh, Professor, UC San Diego IR/PS

Title: "The Impact of Introducing Mobile Telephony into Rural Africa"

Summary:

McIntosh and Michael Futch, a Ph.D. student in the economics department at UC San Diego, used this grant to support a project with the Grameen Technology Center and MTN, Africa’s major cellphone company that sought to understand the impact of introducing mobile telephony into rural Africa. A great deal of enthusiasm and anecdotal evidence has accompanied efforts to close the ‘digital divide’ by distributing IT more widely through the developing world. In many cases utilization has lagged expectations, however, and quantitative evidence of impact has been almost totally lacking. McIntosh completed a set of baseline surveys in 2006 of 400 communities that did not have Village Phones and this project ran a follow-up survey that was used to measure the changes that have taken place with the introduction of mobile telephony. Visit his website to learn more

Lei Meng, Ph.D. Candidate, UC San Diego Department of Economics

Title: "Chinese Rural-to-Urban Migration"

Summary:

Chinese rural-to-urban migration is one of the most important economic phenomena in the past twenty years and one of the greatest movements of people in modern history. Despite the extensive research that has been done on this topic, the existing economic literature is limited by both data scarcity and inaccessibility. This project enabled Meng to constitute an extremely valuable longitudinal dataset that is conducive to examining the dynamic properties of migration decisions, studying the extent of measurement error and obtaining important indicators not collected in the original survey. Meng is now an assistant professor at Xiamen University in China.

Jessica Wallack, Professor, UC San Diego IR/PS

Title: "India's Infrastructure Reforms"

Summary:

This project supported the completion of a book on India’s infrastructure reforms, as well as a new project that extends her work on the political economy of infrastructure provision to look at the determinants of participation in a new forum for citizen feedback on urban public services among other questions. The book and the urban governance project are extensions of her work on federalism, public finance and the political economy of public services. Wallack is now at the Center for Development Finance.