Thibault Fally, University of California, Berkeley

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Date: Monday, February 24, 2020 -12:30pm to 1:50pm

Location: Rafik B. Hariri Building – Room 370, McDonough School of Business

Presenter: Thibault Fally, University of California, Berkeley

Paper: Scaling Agricultural Policy Interventions: Theory and Evidence from Uganda

Abstract: Interventions aimed at raising agricultural productivity in developing countries have been a centerpiece in the global fight against poverty. These policies are increasingly informed by evidence from field experiments and natural experiments, with the well-known limitation that findings based on local variation generally do not speak to the general equilibrium (GE) effects if the intervention were to be scaled up to the national level. In this paper, we develop a new framework to quantify these forces based on a combination of theory and rich but widely available microdata. We build a quantitative GE model of farm production and trade, and propose a new solution method in this environment for studying high-dimensional counterfactuals at the level of individual households in the macroeconomy. We then bring to bear microdata from Uganda to calibrate the model to all households populating the country. We use these building blocks to explore the average and distributional implications of local shocks compared to policies at scale, and quantify the underlying mechanisms.

The International Economics Seminar series is presented jointly with the Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Economics Department of Georgetown University.