The updated versions are available at SSRN.
At the end of 2001, the Indian Supreme Court issued a directive ordering states to institute school lunches – known locally as "midday meals" – in government primary schools. This paper provides a large-scale assessment of the enrollment effects of India's midday meal scheme, which offers warm lunches, free of cost, to 120 million primary school children across India and is the largest school feeding program in the world. To isolate the causal effect of the policy, we make use of staggered implementation across Indian states in government but not private schools. Using a panel data set of almost 500,000 schools observed annually from 2002 to 2004, we find that midday meals result in substantial increases in primary school enrollment, driven by early primary school responses to the program. Our results are robust to a wide range of specification tests.
This paper asks whether adversity spurs the introduction of process innovations and increases the use of managerial incentives by firms. Using a large panel data set of workplaces in Canada, our identification strategy relies on exogenous variation in adversity arising from increased border security along the 49th parallel following 9/11. Our longitudinal difference-in-differences estimates indicate that firms responded to adversity by introducing new or improved processes, but did not change their use of managerial incentives. These results suggest that the threat of bankruptcy may provide impetus for improving efficiency.
Using a large longitudinal, nationally representative workplace-level dataset, we explore the productivity gains associated with computer use and organizational redesign. The empirical strategy involves the estimation of a production function, augmented to account for technology use and organizational design, correcting for unobserved heterogeneity. We find large returns associated with computer use. We also find that computer use and organizational redesign may be complements or substitutes in production, and that the productivity gains associated with organizational redesign are industry-specific.