Ashutosh Thakur

Ph.D., Stanford Graduate School of Business

Assistant Professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore


Welcome! I completed my Ph.D. from Stanford Graduate School of Business '21, was a postdoctoral fellow at ECONTribute: Markets & Public Policy at the University of Cologne, and am currently an Assistant Professor of economics in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore since August 2021.

My research applies tools of market design to political economy, with a focus on institutional stability and organizational productivity.

Curriculum Vitae (link)


Job Market Paper

Matching in the Civil Service: A Market Design Approach to Public Administration and Development [PDF]

Abstract: Using a matching theory perspective, I analyze the design and the impact of Indian Civil Service state assignment mechanisms used to allocate elite civil servants to different parts of the country. I find that a recent change in the matching mechanism in 2008 has systematically skewed assignments by assigning relatively poor quality bureaucrats to disadvantaged states: regions with external foreign conflict, states with internal political strife, and newly-formed states. This paper i) analyzes the causes of these imbalances, ii) assesses the impact of this mechanism change on state capacity, development outcomes, and bureaucratic performance, and iii) highlights trade-offs in implementing alternate mechanisms. Global balance in quality across state cadres is a unique constraint that arises when applying matching to political economy settings, as the mechanism designer is a paternalistic central planner. Thus, less is left to the market compared to most canonical matching applications. On the other hand, the use of matching in political economy is also novel, and careful understanding of how different matching mechanisms address underlying correlations in the data has far-reaching consequences for bureaucratic performance and development outcomes.

(last updated Nov 23, 2020)


Prof. Steven Callander


The Herbert Hoover Professor of Public and Private Management. Professor of Political Economy.

Stanford University, Graduate School of Business

(650) 736-2867

Prof. Alvin Roth


The Craig and Susan McCaw Professor of Economics

Stanford University, Department of Economics

(650) 725-9147

Prof. Saumitra Jha

(Reading Committee)

Associate Professor of Political Economy

Stanford University, Graduate School of Business

(650) 721-1298

Prof. Paulo Somaini

(Reading Committee)

Associate Professor of Economics

Stanford University, Graduate School of Business

(650) 723-6451