Economic growth in low and middle-income countries has seen a concomitant boom in construction activities. These activities cause pollution locally, as well as environmental degradation at extraction sites for minerals used in construction. Sand is one such mineral that is mined from riverbeds and beaches, accounting for 85% of global mineral extraction and ranking as the second most used resource after water. In India, sand mining has also been a hotbed for organized crime, giving rise to notorious “sand mafias”. The researchers will generate the first plausibly causal evidence of the environmental effects of sand mining, such as on flooding and groundwater, then explore how these interact with local criminal activity. These impacts may heterogeneously affect different parts of the income distribution as the location choice of mining sites may be contingent on observable demographic factors. They plan to develop a better understanding of these factors.