Coelho, Miguel, Sebastian Dellepiane-Avellaneda, and Vigyan Ratnoo. 2016. “The political economy of housing in England”. New Political Economy. 22 (1): 31-60.


Persistent Impacts of Colonial Land Tenure Systems: Evidence on Development in Rural India (Job Market paper)

The role of institutions in long run development has been the focus of much research, but identifying and measuring the causal impact remains fraught with difficulties. This paper uses a Geographical Regression Discontinuity (GRD) design on a unique village level data set from colonial India to estimate the impact of different land tenure types on long run rural literacy. Exploiting an early 19th century historical quirk in the placement of these land tenures in a small, otherwise homogeneous area, this paper is able to show sizable effects on literacy persist into the new millennium. The historical placement of railway lines is also analysed, with results indicating that the full benefit of the railways for development is likely to be conditional on land tenure type.

The Certainty of Uncertainty: The progress of literacy in colonial India in the presence of agricultural shocks

Agricultural shocks have always been defining feature of Indian agriculture - the varying nature of rainfall patterns across the country significantly influences rural incomes and development. More consistent rainfall enables farmers to maintain a certain level of income and enables investments over a long time horizon, while frequent weather shocks force farmers to employ costly ex-ante and ex-post strategies that lead to adverse effects on income and developmental indicators. This study analyses the historical roots of current literacy patterns in India. Using historical data on agricultural shocks and literacy, this paper employs an Instrumental Variables (IV) strategy to analyse the impact of agricultural shocks on colonial era literacy. Results show that downside risk in particular is an important determinant of literacy across colonial India.


  1. Seminar tutor, Macroeconomics II, 2nd year BSc Economics, 2016-

  2. Seminar tutor, Development Economics, 2nd year BSc Economics, 2017-

  3. Seminar tutor, Applied Economics, 3rd year BSc Economics, 2017-

  4. Lecturer, Macroeconomics, Economics Summer School at the University of York, 2016-


  • Department of Economics & Related Studies, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK.