The Institute for Economic Development awards the Rosenstein-Rodan Prize for the best original research on development economics or a related discipline among PhD students. This year there was an extraordinarily large number of high quality submissions, making the problem of selection particularly difficult. The papers were read and evaluated by a committee of six IED faculty affiliates comprising Kenny Ajayi, Sam Bazzi, John Harris, Bob Lucas, Dilip Mookherjee, and Andy Newman.
The 2014 Rosenstein-Rodan prize will be shared by three students:
Mirko Fillbrunn: “Strategic Voting and Ballot-Order Effects”
Anusha Nath: “Political Competition and Elite Capture of Local Public Goods”
Nate Young: “The Effect of Formal Banking on Real Economic Outcomes: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Analysis in India”
Mirko’s paper studies the phenomenon of ballot-order effects where the order in which candidates appear on the ballot matters for election outcomes. He develops a number of alternative theories for explaining this, and uses data from local California elections to discriminate between them empirically.
Anusha’s paper studies the allocation of spending across different local public goods by Members of Parliament in India out of a discretionary fund they control. She provides evidence that local elites exert disproportionate influence on these allocations, which is moderated by political competition.
Nate’s paper studies the effect of a banking regulatory reform in India implemented in 2006-7. He uses evidence to show that the reform had a significant impact on spatial allocation of branches by commercial banks, on deposits and loans, with consequent impacts on agricultural productivity and industrial investment.