Research Interests

My primary research interests include development, labor, and public policy and economics of education.

My primary field of research is development economics, and my secondary fields are labor, and economics of education. My fundamental research can be broadly classified into three interrelated categories. The first concerns understanding the effectiveness of government polices geared towards improving the lives of poor in developing countries. The second revolves around improving educational outcomes in developing countries by examining the role of demand and supply side inventions. The third involves understanding the role of governance and institutions in economic development.

Towards an endeavor to combine the research in these interrelated areas with genuine policy impact, I continuously seek to enhance my understanding of development strategies. My intent is to gain and provide intellectual leadership in the exploration of development policies with real policy implications. What will always drive me is the passion for analyzing and evaluating government interventions for helping developing countries formulate and adopt the right policies.

Publications in Refereed Journals

13. Effect of Political Decentralization and Female Leadership on Institutional Births and Child Mortality in Bihar, India, with Santosh Kumar (Sam Houston State University), Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 185, July 2017, pp. 171-178

12. The Role of Constitutions on Poverty: A Cross-National Investigation, with Lanse Minkler (University of Connecticut), forthcoming in Journal of Comparative Economics

11. Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India, with Karthik Muralidharan (UC-San Diego, NBER, BREAD, CEGA, J-PAL & IPA), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Vol. 9 (3), July 2017, pp. 321-350
10. Does Political Reservation for Minorities Affect Child Labor? Evidence from India, with Elizabeth Kaletski (Ithaca College), World Development, Vol. 87, November 2016, pp. 50-69

9. Can Elected Minority Representatives Affect Health Worker Visits? Evidence from Rural India, with Elizabeth Kaletski (Ithaca College), Review of Development Economics, Vol. 21 (1), 2017, pp 67-102

  • Published Version

8. Does Constitutionalizing Economic and Social Rights Promote their Fulfillment, with Elizabeth Kaletski (Ithaca College), Lanse Minkler (University of Connecticut) and Susan Randolph (University of Connecticut), Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 15 (4), 2016, pp 433-453

7. A Distributional Analysis of Public Private Wage Differential in India, with Mehtabul Azam (Oklahoma State University), LABOUR: Review of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations, Vol. 29 (4), December 2015, pp 394-414

6. The Returns to English-Language Skills in India, with Mehtabul Azam (Oklahoma State University) and Aimee Chin (University of Houston, NBER & IZA), Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol. 61 (2), January 2013, pp 335-367

5. Consumption and Social Identity: Evidence from India, with Melanie Khamis (Wesleyan University) and Zahra Siddique (University of Reading), Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Vol. 83 (3), August 2012, pp 353-371

4. Do School Lunch Subsidies Change the Dietary Patterns of Children from Low-Income Households?, with Larry Howard (California State University-Fullerton), Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 30 (3), July 2012, pp 362-381
3. Do Employment Quotas Explain the Occupational Choices of Disadvantaged Minorities in India?, with Larry Howard (California State University- Fullerton), International Review of Applied Economics, Vol. 26 (4), July 2012, pp 489-513

2. The Redistributive Effects of Political Reservation for Minorities: Evidence from India, with Aimee Chin (University of Houston), Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 96 (2), November 2011, pp 265-277

1. Skill Mapping and Skill Development for Employability: The Case of Cuttack, with Satpathy, Anoop K. and Mishra, Jimuta, Indian Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 45 (4), 2002

Other Refereed Publications

4. Affirmative Action Policy in Developing Countries: Lessons Learned and Way Forward, with Elizabeth Kaletski (Ithaca College), in UNU-WIDER Working Paper 52/2016

3. Bihar's Alcohol Ban: Good Intentions, Impractical Policy, with Sanjeev Kumar (Yale University), in Economic & Political Weekly, vol. 51 (1), January 2016

2. The Impact of Change in Primary Completion Rate on Learning Outcomes in India, with Bhanu Gupta (University of Michigan), in UNESCO Global Monitoring Report, 2015

1. Impact of the Village Health and Sanitation Committee on Health-Care Utilization: Findings from Propensity Score Matching in India, with Santosh Kumar (Sam Houston State University), in The Lancet, Vol. 381 (2), 17-19 June 2013, pp S77

Working Papers

5. Do Criminally Accused Politicians Affect Economic Outcomes? Evidence from India, with Yogesh Uppal (Youngstown State University) and Marc Rockmore (Clark University),
revision requested from Journal of Development Economics

4. Dowry: Household Responses to Expected Marriage Payments, with S Anukriti (Boston College) and Sungoh Kwon (University of Connecticut)

3. Girls for Sale? Son Preference and Girls Trafficking in India, with Krishna C. Vadlamannati (University College Dublin), revision requested from Feminist Economics

2. Improving the Labor Market Outcomes of Minorities: The Role of Employment Quota

  • Current Draft (Coming Soon)

1. Education Policies and Practices: What have we Learnt so far and the Road Ahead?, with Priya Ranjan (University of California - Irvine)  

Selected Works in Progress

1. End of Jungle Raj: Political Change and Crime Reduction in India, with Oliver Vanden Eynde (Paris School of Economics), Clement Imbert (University of Warwick) and Chinmaya Kumar (University of Chicago)

2. Understanding Career Choice in a Developing Country: Reading the Mind of High School Students in Cities of India, with Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay (Indian Statistical Institute) and Tarun Jain (Indian School of Business)

3. Social Ties and Bureaucratic Corruption, with Ray Fisman (Boston University)

4. Goal Setting and Student Effort, with Asadul Islam (Monash University), Sungoh Kwon (University of Connecticut) and Shwetlena Sabarwal (The World Bank)

5. Does High School Stream Choice Matter for Economic Returns? Evidence from India, with Tarun Jain (Indian School of Business), Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay (Indian Statistical Institute) and Raghav Rakesh

6. Habit Formation and Self-Control in Study Effort, with Gautam Rao (Harvard University) and Anett John (CREST)

7. Measurement Error in Land Area and Tests of Intrahousehold Efficiency, with Alex Cohen (Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation) and Mahesh Dahal (University of Connecticut)