Symposium 2014

Date: Friday, April 4, 2014
Keynote Speaker: Shivani Siroya, CEO & Founder of InVenture
Symposium Theme: The Power of Innovation to Drive Inclusive Growth
Location: RAND Corporation
Headquarters Campus
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, California 90401-3208
More Info/Register: Email Melissa Felician (felician@prgs.edu) or Marlon Graf (mgraf@prgs.edu)

Keynote

About the Keynote Speaker

Shivani Siroya

Shivani Siroya is the CEO and Founder of InVenture, an organization that helps micro-businesses to expand by providing access to growth capital and financial tracking tools via the Internet and mobile technology in order to lift these businesses and their communities out of poverty.

Siroya was a 2013 TED Fellow, 2011 Echoing Green Fellow and 2011 Unreasonable Institute Fellow. She holds an M.P.H. in Health Economics and Policy from Columbia University and a B.A. in International Relations from Wesleyan University. She has a wide array of professional experiences in global health, microfinance, and investment banking: prior to InVenture she worked at UNFPA, Health Net and Citigroup. She is also a blogger for the Huffington Post and a member of the board for the LA Chapter of Young Women Social Entrepreneurs.

Agenda

Preliminary Agenda

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Student Presentations (Read abstracts)
RAND Forum Room 1224
9:00-9:30"The Ramifications of California's Prison Realignment: A Closer Look at County Level Strategies, Funding Allocations and Pretrial Populations"
Presented by: Alexander Becker and Caroline Stevens (USC)
9:35-10:05 "Mobile Money in Development: A Case Study between Tanzania and Uganda"
Presented by: Shannon Moran (Pepperdine)
10:10-10:40 "Market Match, Fresh Incentives for Improving Food Security of Older Angelinos"
Presented by: Andrea Jones, Alison Muckle, and Martha Washo (UCLA)
10:45-11:15 "San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Master Plan: Creating Bikeable Streets for All"
Presented by: David Diaz Avelar (Claremont)
11:20-11:50 "Women’s Assets and Household Fuel Choice in Karnataka"
Prodyumna Goutam (PRGS) and Hema Swaminathan (Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore)
Presented by: Prodyumna Goutam
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Keynote: Shivani Siroya
RAND Forum
A conversation between Krishna Kumar (RAND) and Shivani Siroya
2:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Break
2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Social Innovation Panel Discussion
RAND Forum Room 1224
Social innovation drives inclusive growth through the tailoring of new ideas, techniques, policies and practices, which enhance the lives of the most disenfranchised and marginalized citizens in a society. By exploring the economic and environmental underpinnings of inequality, organizations and increasingly social entrepreneurs continually strive to create new approaches that engender universal social mobility. Join in the discussion.
Moderator: Trey Miller, RAND
Panelists: Paul Torrens, UCLA/Claremont Graduate University; Margaret Weber, Pepperdine University; Alex Dorsey, eroots/WORKS; Abby Fifer Mandell, USC
3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Break
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Breakout Panels:
Business/Technology and Innovation Panel
RAND Forum Room 1224
Innovation is a driver for change. The creation and development of new services and products can be an enabler for improving the lives of individuals by facilitating the use of technology or processes that can save time and resources. This panel explores the role of the private sector and government in promoting, funding and developing innovations that may have a wider impact in society.
Moderator: Rafiq Dossani, RAND
Panelists Arjan Schutte, Core Innovation Capital; Louis Stewart, California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development; Peter Marx, City of Los Angeles
Inequality and Innovation Panel
RAND Forum 1226
Rapid innovation could result in higher levels of inequality in a variety of areas, unless technology and innovation policy are managed in a way that increase the potential for a narrowing of the gap between the have's and the have not’s. This Panel explores the potential for policy interventions in the area of technology and innovation policy for improved social outcomes.
Moderator: Christopher Nelson, RAND
Panelists: Ricardo Basurto-Dávila, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; Heather Campbell, Claremont Graduate University; Colleen Callahan, UCLA
4:30 p.m. Reception

Panelists

Bios of Symposium Panel Participants

Keynote Discussion

Krishna Kumar

Krishna Kumar (RAND)
Krishna Kumar is the director of RAND Labor and Population and has directed Research And Policy in International Development (RAPID), a center within the unit. He also leads the Rosenfeld Program on Asian Development at PRGS, where he co-teaches a course on economic development. His research interests are: economic growth and development, human capital formation, and technological change. His current projects include: examining the role of NIH/federal funding on university R&D and university-firm alliance formation (funded by NSF), using a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of farmer field schools to reduce excessive fertilizer usage by Chinese farmers (funded by 3ie), and building capacity at the Kurdistan Region Statistical Office through the implementation of a labor force survey (funded by the Kurdistan Regional Government). His current proposals include: examining the factors beyond academic preparedness that influence STEM enrollment and persistence in U.S. universities, understanding the aggregation of individual values into corporate and national governance, and their transmission across developed-developing country boundaries through investment and trade, and calculating the gross domestic product of the Kurdistan Region using enterprise surveys. He has published in leading journals on economic growth and development and macroeconomics. He has received the Huddleson teacher award from PRGS, and the President's award, and silver and gold merit awards from RAND. Kumar received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.

Social Innovation Panel

Trey Miller (RAND) — Moderator
Trey Miller is an associate economist at the RAND Corporation, where he specializes in U.S. and international education policy. Miller has advised government agencies in the United States and abroad on how to develop, maintain, and use complex data systems to efficiently evaluate the effectiveness of higher education systems, institutions, programs, and policies. He employs education databases and uses experimental and quasi-experimental methods such as regression discontinuity, instrumental variables methods, and propensity score matching methods to evaluate the causal impact of education programs and policies. Miller was the principal investigator (PI) for a study funded by the Gates Foundation that used administrative databases to develop value-added measures for the higher education sector. He also worked with the Abu Dhabi Education Council to develop a set of quantitative and qualitative indicators to assess the performance of higher education institutions. He was a co-PI for a research project funded by the Spencer Foundation to assess the impact of policies governing college tuition towards undocumented immigrants on educational attainment of the undocumented. He recently helped design, implement, and analyze a random controlled trial experiment in Pittsburgh to evaluate the impact of student and parent incentives to attend a voluntary summer learning program on student attendance patterns and learning outcomes. Currently, he is analyzing proposals for higher education policy set forth in India's 12th Five-Year Plan and developing a set of recommendations for implementation. Miller earned his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.

Alex Dorsey

Alex Dorsey is the General Manager of eroots, a social enterprise committed to ensuring everyone has equal access to quality organic produce throughout Los Angeles. Responsible for the startup and development of the business as a model to increase access of sustainably grown produce in food insecure communities, Dorsey brings more than 20 years in a rich background in business development and project management from managing complex facilities and community revitalization projects in the public sector; to growing small businesses in a variety of industries. A lifelong commitment to service, she merges her skills in critical analysis and facilitation with a passion for making a difference and creating healthy and vibrant communities. She is a guest lecturer at Portland State University and the University of Southern California on the subject of social innovation, small business, and community development.

Abby Fifer Mandell

Abby Fifer Mandell (USC)
Abby Fifer Mandell is the executive director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at USC’s Marshall School of Business. She oversees all SBL staff, student programs, new courses, events, initiatives, and the undergraduate minor in social entrepreneurship. She designs curriculum for SBL-affiliated courses and co-teaches BAEP 499: Social Innovation Design Lab, an undergraduate course in which interdisciplinary teams of students use design thinking to create product solutions to poverty in Calfornia’s Central Valley. Prior to joining the Lab staff, she served as the director of admissions of the graduate school of education at American Jewish University in Los Angeles. As a private consultant for Brailsford & Dunlavey, she designed educational programs and facilities at Duke University, The University of Vermont, Dartmouth University, and UC Riverside, among others. She has taught students in every grade level from kindergarten to postsecondary education and her research has been published in ACUI's The Bulletin, University Business, and NACAS's College Service. She was instrumental in creating LimmudLA, a grassroots, post-denominational, Jewish learning experience in Southern California. She holds a master's degree in educational administration and received her B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Paul Torrens, M.D., MPH (UCLA/Claremont Graduate University)
Paul Torrens is Professor of Health Policy and Management (Emeritus) from the UCLA School of Public Health and currently serves as Professor in the School of Community and Global Health at Claremont Graduate University. He received his MD from Georgetown University and his MPH from Harvard. A physician by initial traing, he has had a long career in the two areas of health care management and health care policy, and has served on the governing boards of health care organizations of many kinds, including Blue Shield of California and PacificCare Behavoural Health of California. At present, he is a member of the University of California, San Diego Health System Advisory Board, the Board of Directors of the SCAN Foundation, and the Board of Trustees of the Partners-in-Care Foundation. As a health policy expert, Dr. Torrens has served in a wide variety of advisory and consulting capacities to governmental and non-governmental organizations in all parts of the United States and in eighteen foreign countries.

Margaret Weber (Pepperdine University)
Margaret Weber is the dean of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) and professor of Education at Pepperdine University. Since joining GSEP in 2001, Weber has focused on faculty development and program innovation in order to create a community of learning and environment of achievement.
As dean, Weber enjoys seeing the transformation of students as they cultivate their acumen and develop as leaders in their field. Most recently, Weber has been appointed program director for GSEP's newest graduate studies master's program in social entrepreneurship and change. Weber has a strong background and belief in faculty development and program innovation. As part of her scholarly work, she has published articles on such topics as multicultural leadership and diversity; defining scholarship, mentoring, and socialization of graduate students; and the value of investment in faculty.

Weber began her career as a junior high teacher in a small rural Illinois community. She then decided to complete her graduate education, and earned a doctoral degree in education from the University of Missouri. She went on to teach Environmental Design at Oklahoma State University and then moved into administration for research and graduate education before coming to Pepperdine University. In addition to her academic work, one of Weber's great passions is working with underserved populations; currently, she serves as a Board member for the Union Rescue Mission, a nonprofit (homeless shelter) where GSEP has a mental health clinic. Her scholarly interests relate to gender equity; women and leadership; and work-family life balance issues. An enthusiastic traveler, she has been to several countries in Asia, and within the last year, she has twice visited India where she built a strong understanding of cultural dynamics influencing educational issues and issues of gender equity.

Technology/Business Innovation Panel

Rafiq Dossani (RAND) — Moderator
Rafiq Dossani is a Senior Economist in the Santa Monica office. He works on education, regional development, security, finance, and technology issues. Projects in education include the relationship between financing, governance and ownership in higher education, addressing the digital divide in early childhoood education, college search, and blended delivery models in higher education. Projects in regional development include the political economy of trade in South Asia, and Pakistan's urbanization. Previously, Dossani was director of Stanford University's Center for South Asia, and a senior research scholar at Stanford University's Institute for International Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in Finance from Northwestern University, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and a BA in Economics from St. Stephen's College.

Peter Marx (City of Los Angeles)
Peter Marx is L.A.'s first-ever Chief Innovation Technology Officer, appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in February. Before joining the Mayor's Office, Marx served as the Vice President of Business Development at Qualcomm Labs, Inc., commercializing a variety of emerging technologies. Previously, Marx was the Vice President of the Technology and Digital Studio at Mattel, Inc. where the company received a Webby award, the highest award for excellence in online content. Marx managed Analog Protocol, a media-technology consultancy; served as the Chief Technology Officer for Vivendi-Universal Games and Vice President of Emerging Technologies for Universal Studios; and held engineering and producer positions at Electronic Arts. Early in his career, he served as an engineer on a variety of telemedicine, digital video, radiological imaging, and biomedicine applications for UCLA and 3M Company.

Arjan Schütte (Core Innovation Capital)
Arjan Schütte is the founder and a managing partner of Core Innovation Capital, a venture capital fund investing in financial technology companies that serve the Emerging Middle Class. He is also a Senior Advisor to the Center for Financial Services Innovation, the nation’s leading authority on the underbanked market. He was previously a senior manager at CFSI from its inception until Core was launched in 2010. Schütte is a passionate industry expert. Through CFSI and Core, he has invested in some of the most innovative companies serving the underbanked, including AccountNow, CircleLending (acquired by Virgin Group), iSend, L2C, and BankingUp. Schütte serves on the board of portfolio companies Ripple Labs (as an observer), SavvyMoney, TIO Networks, and Wipit and is an advisory board member for several companies including Progreso Financiero. Schütte formerly served as a board member for RentBureau (acquired by Experian). He is cited broadly, blogs for Forbes, and regularly speaks at industry conferences. Prior, Schütte spent 12 years as an entrepreneur in several venture backed companies in technology leadership, consulting and general management roles at Pierian Spring Software, Cognitive Concepts (acquired by Houghton Mifflin), Capella Learning (now NASDAQ: CPLA), and DoTheGood, among others. Schütte earned an MS from the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as an Interval Research Fellow, and earned his BA in Philosophy and Communication at Lewis & Clark College.

Louis Stewart (California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development)
Louis Stewart currently serves as the Deputy Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), where he oversees the coordination and promotion of innovative programs, activities, and emerging technologies throughout the state of California. At GO-Biz, Stewart manages a robust statewide innovation-based economic development support network of regional innovation clusters called the California Innovation Hubs (iHubs). The 16 iHubs were designed to stimulate local, regional, and statewide job creation as well as enhance the awareness, visibility, and opportunities for commercialization of the technologies emerging from GO-Biz’ iHub partners. Stewart’s role includes a priority to develop an ecosystem that endorses entrepreneurship as well as promotes approaches that will augment strategic business development opportunities. High profile business opportunities are coordinated and managed in order to retain and expand business investment, assist in job creation, and enhance economic opportunities through collaboration and innovation. Stewart comes from the private sector where he has 17 years of experience in Sales, Marketing, and Information Technologies. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Santa Clara University.

Inequality Panel

Christopher Nelson (RAND) — Moderator
Christopher Nelson is senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. He previously served as associate director for research at RAND's Pittsburgh office. Nelson's current work focuses on evaluating and improving systems for national health security, including analytical support for the National Health Security Strategy and Implementation Plan, development of performance measures and standards, and program evaluations. Results of his research have appeared in Health Affairs, the American Journal of Public Health, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, Annual Review of Public Health, and numerous RAND reports and briefings to policymakers. Nelson has also studied workplace safety and was founding director of the RAND Center for Health and Safety in the Workplace. In addition, he spent several years evaluating market-based educational reforms in the United States; his education-related work was published in What's Public About Charter Schools Lessons Learned About Choice and Accountability (coauthored with Gary Miron, Corwin Press, 2002) and numerous papers and technical reports. Before coming to RAND, Nelson was senior research associate at the Western Michigan University Evaluation Center, visiting assistant professor of Public Policy and Politics at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Public Policy and Management, and a policy analyst with the Illinois state legislature. Nelson received his B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota and his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ricardo Basurto-Dávila (Los Angeles County Department of Public Health)
Ricardo Basurto-Dávila, Ph.D., is a health economist at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. In his current position, he contributes to the Department’s goal of increasing its use of quantitative analysis in its decision-making by leading economic evaluations and policy analysis studies of public health policies. He was previously a Prevention Effectiveness Fellow at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he conducted economic evaluations of the efforts implemented by the United States and other countries to respond to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation, where his work focused on migration, social and environmental determinants of health, and inequalities in health and health care. He has published in social science, public health, and medical journals. Basurto-Dávila earned a B.A. in Economics from Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico, a M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin, and the Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Colleen Callahan

Colleen Callahan (UCLA)
Colleen Callahan is deputy director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, which unites the intellectual capital of UCLA with forward-looking civic leaders to advance environmental sustainability through scholarship, research, and community engagement. Initiative areas include Sustainable Energy, Electric Vehicles & Alternative Fuels, Complete Streets, Smart Water Systems, Climate Action Planning for Local Governments, and Nanotechnology Environmental Health & Safety. Prior to joining UCLA, Callahan was the Manager of Air Quality Policy for the American Lung Association. In this role she collaborated with diverse coalitions and advocated for policies to reduce air pollution and global warming emissions from the transportation and energy sectors. She is a founding Board Member of the Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative (LASC), a nonprofit organization that sponsors research to raise awareness on environmental issues and inform policy making in Southern California. She is currently serving as the LASC Director of Research and Programs. She holds a M.A. in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her interdisciplinary studies focused on transportation planning and environmental policy. She graduated from Occidental College with a BA in urban and environmental policy, Phi Beta Kappa. She considers herself home in both Los Angeles, CA (where she has lived for well over a decade) and her home town of Tucson, AZ. She is is a runner, hiker, and transit rider.

Heather Campbell (Claremont Graduate University)
Heather E. Campbell is Professor and Chair in the Department of Politics and Policy, and Chair of Economics at Claremont Graduate University. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego, Revelle College, and an MPhil and PhD in Public Policy Analysis from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School. She is interested in Policy Analysis broadly defined, framed by theoretical underpinnings drawn from Public Choice and the methods of Econometrics and Benefit-Cost Analysis. She has an overarching interest in regulation. Her current research focuses on environmental policy, with an emphasis on environmental justice analysis. She has published in venues such as Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Journal, Journal of Regional Science, and Journal of Public Affairs Education. Her book, co-authored with Elizabeth A. Corley, Urban Environmental Policy Analysis, was released in 2012. Before joining CGU, Campbell was first an Assistant Professor, and then Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at Arizona State University’s School of Public Affairs. There she also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Public Affairs Education (JPAE), the flagship journal of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Abstracts

Abstracts of Student Presentations

9:00-9:30 – The Ramifications of California's Prison Realignment: A Closer Look at County Level Strategies, Funding Allocations and Pretrial Populations

Alexander Becker and Caroline Stevens (USC)

Abstract:
In 2011, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 109, The California Public Safety Realignment Act. This federally mandated legislation became the touchstone of California’s solutions for reducing inmate overcrowding in its 33 prisons, by relocating non-violent, non-sexual, non-serious offenders down to county level jails.. This study reviews county level strategies and funding allocations for realignment, as well as evidence based practices for pretrial release of non-violent defendants. The data utilized in this study was collected from individual county level strategic plans for realignment, The Board of State and Community Corrections, and The National Archive of Criminal Justice Data/ State Court Processing Statistics. This study isolated important funding and recidivism trends at a county level, and isolated pretrial release programs as a veritable method for handling overcrowded jails and implementing cost effective reform. This claims and findings are the product of The Richard J. Riordan Graduate Summer Internship Program at The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

9:35-10:05 – Mobile Money in Development: A Case Study between Tanzania and Uganda

Shannon Moran (Pepperdine)

Abstract:
In 2012, Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for nearly 70 percent of the registered customers of mobile money (m-money) globally. The service from mobile network operators (MNOs) means that for a fee, participants can transfer money quickly through their personal mobile phone. The proliferation of mobile phones in Sub-Saharan Africa and the expansion of this took to Tanzania and Uganda give us case studies to determine the impact of the m-money market. Since 88 percent of Tanzanians and 65 percent of Ugandans live on less than US$2 per day, the hope is that m-money services will provide a secure and rapid means of securing funds for these vulnerable populations. Through data provided by the Financial Inclusion Tracker Survey project, this report seeks to identify the characteristics of m-money user households, their consumption habits, and the value of remittances sent through the m-money tool. Our findings reinforced previous work that identified initial adopters of m-money as those already participating in the formal financial market, and while we saw high rates of the unbanked (those without access to a financial institution) relying on the technology, being unbanked had a substantially negative association with a household becoming a m-money user. Further, while our models explained very little of the variation in education and luxury spending, m-money use had a positive relationship with school expenses. By distance and in financial shock scenarios, mobile remittances on average were higher than regular remittances; however, the differences between these methods of transfer were not significant. This analysis adds to the larger discussion of m-money use and poverty alleviation, but more granular and longitudinal studies will be necessary to guide international policy on its implementation.

10:10-10:40 – Market Match, Fresh Incentives for Improving Food Security of Older Angelinos

Andrea Jones, Alison Muckle, and Martha Washo (UCLA)

Abstract:
Over one million older adults face food insecurity in Los Angeles. Food insecurity among older adults can lead to adverse health consequences, from the exacerbation of chronic diseases to greater health care utilization, adding to rising costs in the overburdened US healthcare system. One strategy for addressing the issue of food insecurity is to improve the affordability and accessibility of fresh produce at farmers’ markets. Farmers’ market incentive programs have gained considerable traction in the local and federal policy spheres, as evidenced by the funding of such programs in the most recent Farm Bill. Currently, more than 380 farmers’ markets nationwide offer farmers’ market incentive programs.

While there has been a rise in the number of farmers’ market incentive programs, there is a paucity of research that examines the benefits and challenges of such programs, specifically for older adults. As such, our client Hunger Action Los Angeles asked us to conduct an evaluation of its farmers’ market incentive program, known as Market Match, in Los Angeles County.

Specifically, our evaluation served to answer the following two questions:

  • How effective is the current Market Match model at increasing the purchasing and consumption levels of fresh fruits and vegetables among older adults with lowincomes in Los Angeles?
  • Even if the current program proves to be effective, how can HALA improve its performance, given its current resource commitment?

To answer these questions, our team examined the current landscape of food security across Los Angeles’ older adult population. We also conducted 18 interviews with Market Match participants and 18 interviews with eligible, non-participating older adults to determine the effectiveness of the program and to identify challenges to accessing nutritious foods.

This presentation provides an overview of our evaluation and findings. We review a set of policy alternatives to bolster the Market Match program’s current efforts, and discuss recommendations for HALA, and other organizations that administer similar incentive programs, to consider in order to increase the effectiveness of this model.

10:45-11:15 – San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Master Plan: Creating Bikeable Streets for All.

David Diaz Avelar (Claremont)

Abstract:
Over the past several years, BikeSGV has championed an extraordinary effort to advance the development of a safer, smart grid of complete streets, shared trails and bicycle routes for people of all ages and abilities in the San Gabriel Valley. For example, in 2013 BikeSGV and Day One - a Pasadena-based, public health non-profit - partnered with five (5) cities to successfully apply for and receive funding to develop the San Gabriel Valley Regional Bicycle Master Plan. A first draft of the plan is almost complete, with a final version expected by September 2014. In 2013 BikeSGV also successfully executed Metro’s "Need to Know" Bike Safety Education Classes in 22 different communities. The monthly Bike Train has become the region’s longest running community bike ride - along the Emerald Necklace - that encourages and teaches local residents to safely, legally and confidently operate a bicycle. Most recently, BikeSGV has been actively working with San Gabriel Valley Cities to host up to three multi-jurisdictional, "CicLAvia"-style Open Streets events within the next 24 months.

11:20 – 11:50 – Women’s Assets and Household Fuel Choice in Karnataka

Prodyumna Goutam (PRGS) and Hema Swaminathan (Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore)
Presented by: Prodyumna Goutam

Abstract:
The adverse health impact of solid fuel use such as firewood, coal and biomass is well established. Evidence from developing countries suggest that women disproportionately bear the health costs of using such fuel. Even though women stand to benefit immensely from a switch to cleaner fuel, few studies have examined women’s role in enabling that change. Using individual level data on asset ownership in Karnataka households, we examine the link between women’s asset ownership and the propensity of a household to use solid fuel. Along with improvements in child health outcomes and education, female ownership of assets has been shown to have a bearing on the intra-household status of women. We find that women’s ownership of assets have a statistically significant, negative impact on the propensity of households to use solid fuel.

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