Farzana Afridi is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Indian Statistical Institute in Delhi. Her main area of research is in development and labor economics. Her current research interests include female labour force participation, the design of public programmes in developing countries and the effects of social identities on labour productivity. She received her Ph.D. in economics in 2006 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

She joined IZA as a Research Fellow in February 2012.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 10971
Farzana Afridi, Bidisha Barooah, Rohini Somanathan

We study whether information provision improves the academic performance of primary school children in a setting where parents have incomplete information about their child's cognitive skills and there exist competing public and private providers of education. Contiguous village councils in the north Indian state of Rajasthan were randomly assigned to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10856
published as: International Growth Centre Synthesis Paper

Citizens in low income democracies depend, to a large extent, on the state for the provision of basic services either due to absence of a market for these services or poverty. This paper synthesizes the findings of the International Growth Centre (IGC) supported research on governance and public service delivery...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10396

In developing countries with weak institutions, there is implicitly a large reliance on elections to instill norms of accountability and reduce corruption. In this paper we show that electoral discipline may be ineffective in reducing corruption when political competition is too high or too low. We first build a simple...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9924
Farzana Afridi, Bidisha Barooah, Rohini Somanathan

We study how attendance rates of primary school children respond to cost neutral changes in the design of India's school meal program. Municipal schools in the capital region of Delhi switched from packaged food to on-site cooked meals in 2003, with insignificant changes in the budget available per meal. We...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9722
Farzana Afridi, Taryn Dinkelman, Kanika Mahajan

Unlike the global trend, India has witnessed a secular decline in women's employment rates over the past few decades. We use parametric and semi-parametric decomposition techniques to show that changes in individual and household attributes fully account for the fall in women's labor force participation rate in 1987-1999 and account...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8095
published in: India Policy Forum, 2013-14, 10, 297-331

In spite of widespread acclaims of social audits as low-cost and powerful participatory tools that can bolster awareness and improve public service delivery, a key policy question is what such audits have achieved so far. Using a unique panel data set assembled from official social audit reports, we study the...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7212
forthcoming in: Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2017

We use the nation-wide policy of randomly allocating village council headships to women to identify the impact of female political leadership on the governance of projects implemented under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India. Using primary survey data, we find more program inefficiencies and leakages in village councils...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6593
published in: IZA Journal of Labor and Development, 2016, April, 5:7

We study the impact of India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) on children's educational outcomes via women's labour force participation. Using data from the Young Lives Study and taking advantage of the spatial and temporal variation in the intensity of implementation of the NREGS, we find that greater participation...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6417
published in Journal of Public Economics,Vol. 123, March 2015: 17-29

We conduct an experimental study to investigate the causal impact of social identity on individuals' response to economic incentives. We focus on China's household registration (hukou) system which favors urban residents and discriminates against rural residents in resource allocation. Our results indicate that making individuals' hukou status salient and public...