I am an Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Indian School of Business. I received my Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Minnesota. Previously, I served as a Research Analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and the International Monetary Fund.

Fields: Public Finance, Monetary Economics, Macroeconomics


Contract Enforcement and Preventive Healthcare: Theory and Evidence
[paper] [supplementary appendix]

I study how enforcement frictions in health insurance contracts determine the distribution of preventive care. I document that immunization rates are lower in countries with weaker contract enforcement, and exhibit steady state traps. These patterns cannot be explained by efficient immunization in a frictionless economy. However, dynamic contracts subject to ex-post one-sided commitment can rationalize these facts. When contracts are weakly enforced, insurers underinvest in preventive care to perpetuate the need for insurance. This mechanism is self-enforcing, whereby low levels of prevention today breed low levels of prevention in the future. Leveraging this history dependence, I devise a test to show that the hypothesis of limited commitment cannot be rejected in the data. I also structurally estimate the model to match the distribution of immunization rates and show that the model predicts non-targeted moments relating to the persistence of immunization. 

Electoral Systems, Heterogeneous Fiscal Policy and Labor Regulations
[paper] [slides]

This paper studies the effect of electoral systems on fiscal policies and labor regulations. Fiscal policies are largely dependent on the political regime in power. As a result, they tend to be more volatile in majoritarian voting systems. I argue that labor regulations can be used to promote fiscal uniformity in such systems. In particular, I develop a model in which a benevolent constitutional planner can restrict the allocation space of a heterogeneously skilled population prior to the determination of fiscal policies. Elected officials maximize the objective of their constituencies by devising socially suboptimal tax systems that favor idiosyncratic gains from redistribution. I show that the equilibrium constitution limits cross-sectional dispersion in labor income ex-ante to discipline taxation ex-post. Consistent with the data, this framework predicts that more disproportional electoral voting systems are associated with smaller governments and higher minimum wages. A model estimated using key moments of the U.S. presidential elections and the Lorenz curve reveals that labor regulations aimed at stemming erratic taxation can increase welfare by 2.5% in terms of certainty equivalent consumption. 

Efficient Demonetization
[paper] [SSRN]

What were the distributional consequences of the recent demonetization in India? Can the implementation of demonetization be improved to mitigate its distributional impact? This paper answers these questions using a dynamic contracting model featuring costly state verification and cash-in-advance constraints. Using an instrumental variables strategy, I document substantial heterogeneity in the impact of demonetization on consumption expenditure across income and wealth distributions. This finding suggests that the non-discriminatory transfer limits implemented during demonetization were too blunt to insure against idiosyncratic income risk. I propose sharper monetary policy instruments contingent on the history of reported household income to facilitate static and dynamic consumption smoothing. I isolate the conditions under which optimal state-contingent transfer limits are weakly decreasing in income and strictly increasing in wealth. A model calibrated to Indian data reveals that switching to a state-contingent monetary policy produces long-run gains in central bank surplus equal to 28.5% of aggregate income. 


A Positive Theory of Collateral Constraints under Time-inconsistent Taxation

Are Minimum Wages and Income Taxes Complements or Substitutes? with Sergio Salgado

Bank Dependence and Monetary Transmission: Evidence from India with Krishnamurthy Subramanian



East African Community: Taking Off? with Martine Guerguil, Catherine McAuliffe, Hamid Davoodi, and Maxwell Opoku-Afari, Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, International Monetary Fund, April 2011, 51-73.

The Quest for Regional Integration in the East African Community, Chapter 7, edited by Paulo Drummond, S. Kal Wajid and Oral Williams, International Monetary Fund, Washington D.C., 2014.


Botswana: Article IV Consultation with Lamin Leigh, Gonzalo Pastor and Gustavo Ramirez, International Monetary Fund, 2011.

Tracking Short-term Dynamics of Economic Activity in Low-income Countries in the Absence of High-frequency GDP Data with Maxwell Opoku-Afari, Working Paper Series, International Monetary Fund, Washington D.C., 2012, WP/12/119.

Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Exchange Rates and Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa with Nabil Ben Ltaifa and Stella Kaendera, African Departmental Paper, International Monetary Fund, 2009, AFR/09/03.

Monetary Transmission Mechanism in the East African Community: An Empirical Investigation with Hamid Davoodi and Gabor Pinter, Working Paper Series, International Monetary Fund, Washington D.C., 2013, WP/13/39.


"Heterogeneity of Central Bankers and Inflationary Pressure" by Mauricio Bugarin and Fabia Carvalho; XX Inflation Targeting Conference, Central Bank of Brazil.

"Misallocation in the Market for Inputs: Enforcement and the Organization of Production" by Johannes Boehm and Ezra Oberfield; CAFRAL, Reserve Bank of India.