Market Access, Infrastructure, and Climate Risk: Evidence from Randomized Bridge Construction

The majority of households in low- and middle-income countries live in rural areas where markets are poorly integrated and productivity is low. Climate variability, such as rainfall variation, is a key constraint to agricultural productivity. This project will seek to study the relationship between climate risk and market access in rural Rwanda. Working with the Rwandan government and the NGO Bridges to Prosperity, researchers will randomize the roll-out of 150 new bridges to be constructed in Rwanda. These bridges are “last mile” infrastructure, designed to connect rural communities to peri-urban market centers for trade in household products, agricultural goods, and labor. To study their impact, researchers will collect household-level surveys across approximately 15,000 households and traders in local markets to measure the number of traders, prices, and goods available. Combining this data with spatial climate variation and a randomized infrastructure roll-out, researchers will provide experimental evidence on the importance of market access for climate adaptation. The goal is to provide quantitative evidence that leads to more specific policy recommendations and a better understanding of the role played by infrastructure in adapting to a changing climate.

RFP Cycle:
Fall 2022
  • Full project