"Access to Electricity" Project Dam



My research focuses on exploring the conditions conducive to economic development, such as the quality of institutions (judiciary), infrastructure (electricity), and markets (credit, insurance, labor). I am particularly interested in small-scale entrepreneurs in less developed countries. I use rigorous microeconometric techniques on secondary data, or data collected by my research team in the field (I am sitting in the middle at the front).



Judiciary: this part of my research agenda focuses on the impact of institutions, and in particular the judiciary, on growth

Chemin, M. (2020), “Can Judiciaries Constrain Executive Power? Evidence from Judicial Reforms”, Journal of Public Economics, forthcoming.

Aberra, A., and M. Chemin. (2021). “Does Legal Representation Increase Investment? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Kenya”, Forthcoming, Journal of Development Economics.

Chemin, M. (2018). "Judicial Efficiency and Firm Productivity: Evidence from a World Database of Judicial Reforms", Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming.

Online Appendix

Chemin, M. (2019), “Pre-Analysis Plan: Making Information Actionable: Experimental Evidence from Kenyan Courts”.

Chemin, M., Harley, G., and E. Panter. (2017). "What works? : examples of empirically proven justice reforms". Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. 

Chemin, M. (2012). “Does the Quality of the Judiciary Shape Economic Activity? Evidence from a Judicial Reform in India”, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 28 (3): 460-485.

Chemin, M. (2011). “The Welfare Effects of Criminal Politicians: A Discontinuity-Based Approach”, Journal of Law and Economics 55(3): 667-690.

Chemin, M. (2009). “The Impact of the Judiciary on Entrepreneurship: Evaluation of Pakistan's Access to Justice Programme”, Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 93(1-2): 114-125.

Chemin, M. (2009). “Do Judiciaries Matter for Development? Evidence from India”, Journal of Comparative Economics, Vol. 37(2): 230-250.

Kenya: this part focuses on the impact of other conditions (infrastructure, insurance markets, credit markets) on development, and is largely inspired by fieldwork in Kenya

Chemin, M. (2019), “Pre Analysis Plan: The Socio-Economic Effects of Access to Electricity: Evidence from a Community-Based Micro Hydro Project in Kenya”.

Haushofer, J., Chemin, M., Chaning, J., and J. Abraham. (2019). “Economic and Psychological Effects of Health Insurance and Cash Transfers: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Kenya”, Journal of Development Economics, forthcoming.

Chemin, M. (2017). “Informal Groups and Health Insurance Take-up Evidence from a Field Experiment”, World Development, forthcoming.

Archambault, C., Chemin, M., and J. de Laat. (2016). “Can Peers Increase the Voluntary Contributions in Community Driven Projects? Evidence from a Field Experiment”, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (132A): 62-77

Chemin, M., and J. de Laat. (2012). “Can Warm Glow Alleviate Credit Market Failures? Evidence from Online Peer-to-Peer Lenders”, Economic Development and Cultural Change 61 (4): 825-858.

Impact evaluation of public policies

Behrens, K., and M. Chemin, M. (2018), “Confidential Peer Review and Effort in Teams: Evidence from a Field Experiment”, Forthcoming, Journal of Human Resources.

Chemin, M, and N. Sayour (2016). “ The effects of a change in the point system on immigration: evidence from the 2001 Quebec reform”, Journal of Population Economics 29: 1217

Chemin, M. and E. Wasmer. (2009). “Using Alsace-Moselle Local Laws to Build a Difference-in-Differences Estimation Strategy of the Employment Effects of the 35-hour Workweek Regulation in France”, Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 27(4): 487–524.

Do files

Chemin, M. and E. Wasmer. (2008). “Regional Difference-in-Differences in France using the German Annexation of Alsace-Moselle in 1870-1918”, NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2008, edited by Jeffrey Frankel and Christopher Pissarides.

Chemin, M. (2008). “The Benefits and Costs of Microfinance: Evidence from Bangladesh”, Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 44(4): 463-484.

Chemin, M. (2012). “Response to 'High Noon for Microfinance Impact Evaluations'”, Journal of Development Studies. Web appendix





The judiciary, by securing property rights and enforcing contracts, may increase investment and economic development. In one project, my research organization in Kenya (elimu.lab.mcgill.ca) is offering access to free legal representation in court to test this hypothesis. In another project, I am collaborating with the Kenyan judiciary and the World Bank to reform the judiciary on a national scale.


With affordable electricity, farmers may use water pumps for irrigating high value crops, microentrepreneurs may create businesses that require light or powered machines, children may spend less time collecting firewood and more studying at night under proper lighting, women may devote less time to household chores and more to other valuable things such as education. My research organization in Kenya is partnering with a local rural community that has established a micro-hydro reverse-water-pump generation system to connect the local community with affordable power.


In developing countries, especially in rural areas, the quality of education is low, and the youth often have no computers and afterschool support system. On the other hand, in developed countries, many university students are willing to donate their time to assist these youth, but may not know how to go about it, or are unable to physically travel there due to their studies or cost issues. Elimu has launched an innovative, yet simple, solution to connect both worlds, exploiting the recent improvement in communication technologies: a Skype-based tutoring program that would help bridge both this physical and digital divide.

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