Fresh thinking on growth and development in Asia and the Pacific

Seminar: Micro Impacts of Infrastructure in Facilitating Social Capital: Case Study of an Irrigation Project in Sri Lanka

Event | 21 October 2013 ADBI, Tokyo, Japan


Yasuyuki Sawada is a professor in the Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo. He specializes in development economics and applied micro-econometrics focusing on natural and manmade disasters. He has been a visiting researcher at JICA Research Institute, RIETI, BIDS, BRAC-RED, PIDE, World Bank's DECRG, and a visiting professor at Stanford and Korea Universities. He is a recipient of the 2011 Tsuneo Ishikawa Prize of Japanese Economic Association; the 2010 Kiyoshi Kojima Prize of the Japanese International Economic Association; the 2009 Enjiji Jiro Prize of Nikkei; and the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize. He is a coeditor of Japanese Economic Review. He has a PhD in economics from Stanford University.


While randomized controlled trials have become a key tool to evaluate the effectiveness of development programs and policies aimed at reducing poverty, it is difficult by nature to design randomized infrastructure projects to identify the causal impacts. This seminar will examine how natural experiments and other evaluation methods can be used to rigorously evaluate infrastructure programs using a unique panel data set from an irrigation project in Sri Lanka under a natural experimental situation where a significant portion of irrigated land was allocated through a lottery mechanism. Also, we capture a set of new poverty outcomes, such as social capital and trust, using artefactual field experiments. By combining this data, we quantify causal micro-impacts of infrastructure on people's social capital.


ADBI working paper.


ADBI staff, outside researchers, government officials.