Ram Fishman, PhD, Senior Lecturer of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University and director of the Nitsan Lab for Sustainable Development, will present the EEEP Seminar Series, “Irrigation and the Spatial Pattern of Local Economic Development” on September 6, 2023.
Abstract: Ram Fishman studies the long-term impact of large-scale irrigation infrastructure on the composition of local economic activity in India. His analysis uses high-resolution spatial data covering approximately 150,000 villages and towns and exploits spatial discontinuities in the coverage of irrigation projects. Irrigation increases agricultural output, wealth, and population density in rural villages. However, in towns it reduces population and nightlight density, the size of the non-agricultural sector, and large-firm activity. These results highlight the heterogeneous impacts that agricultural productivity gains can have on the patterns of local economic development.
Speaker Bio: Ram Fishman is a senior lecturer of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University and the director of the Nitsan lab for sustainable development, which aims to bridge the gap between Israeli innovation and low income users in developing countries through intensive field work. Ram is a development and environment economist, whose research is focused on sustainable agriculture, water scarcity and climate change, with an emphasis on developing countries. His work employs a mix of field work, field experiments and the analysis of socio-economic and environmental data. Prior to coming to TAU, Ram was an assistant professor of Economics at George Washington University, and prior to that, a Giorgio Ruffolo post-doctoral fellow in Sustainability Science at the Harvard Kennedy School. Ram holds a PhD in Sustainable Development from Columbia University, a M.Sc. in Physics from the Weitzman Institute and a B.Sc. in Mathematics from Tel Aviv University.