NAME   Maitreesh Ghatak


Contact Details 

Department of Economics, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, U.K, Telephone: (44) 207 852 3568, Email:


Field/Area of specialisation Development Economics, Organizational Economics, Public Economics


Education and Degrees 


1996, PhD in Economics, Harvard University.

1991, MA in Economics, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, First Class First.

1989, BSc in Economics, Presidency College, University of Calcutta, First Class First.


Principal Current Position


Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, London School of Economics (2004-present)


Principal Previous Positions


Reader in Economics, Department of Economics, London School of Economics (2002-2004)

Assistant Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Chicago (1996-2002)


Honours & Awards


Fellow of the British Academy, 2018 (Member of Standing Committee, 2020 – 2023)

Fellow of the International Economic Association, 2021

Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, 2000-01.




Co-Editor (2016 - present) Economica.

Co-Editor (2022 – present) Ideas for India

Editor in Chief (2009-2015) Journal of Development Economics.

Managing Editor (2003-2006) Review of Economic Studies.

Co-editor (2003-2005) Economics of Transition.

Co-Editor (2008 –2009):  Journal of Development Economics.

Member of Editorial Board (2002-2011): Review of Economic Studies 

Associate Editor (2009-2012): Journal of Comparative Economics

Associate Editor (1998-2004): Economica




Other Positions


PhD Programme Director, Department of Economics (2022 – present)

Director (2005 – present): Development Economics (DE) programme, STICERD, LSE

Member, School Promotions Committee (2020 - 2022)

Deputy Head of Department of Economics, Research, LSE (2016-2019)

Member of Departmental REF Committee (2016 - present), LSE

Research Programme Director - IGC India (2008 - 2016)

South Asia Centre, LSE, Faculty Advisory Group (2016-2018)

Management Committee, Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship, LSE (2017-present)

Member of School REF Strategy Committee, LSE, 2013-14

Chair of Junior Recruitment, LSE, 2011-12

Chair of Placement, LSE, 2003-07


Professional Activities


British Science Association - Economics Section, President, 2022.

Member, US Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation Economic Advisory Council, 2023-24

Research Associate, Institute for Fiscal Studies, UK

Member, India Policy Forum Research Panel, NCAER, India & Brookings, Washington D.C.

Advisory Panel, Misra Centre for Financial Markets and Economy, IIM-Ahmedabad

Honorary Adjunct Professor, Indian Statistical Institute (2013 - 2018). 

Distinguished Visitor: Indian School of Business, Hyderabad (2013 - 2018).

Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (B.R.E.A.D.) : Senior Fellow (since inception in 2002), Board Member (2008-2018), Member of Executive Council (2011 - 2017)

Research Fellow:  Centre for Economic Policy Research (C.E.P.R.), Programmes in Development Economics (DE), Macroeconomics and Growth (MG), and Public Economics (PE)

Lead Economist (2010 - 2017): International Growth Centre, India: Bihar Programme.

External Member (2013-2016): World Bank Research Committee. 

Research Associate (2017 - ): Research network on Economic Research on Identity, Norms and Narratives (ERINN).

Member (2016 - ): Economic Development and Institutions (EDI) Network,  University of Namur and Paris School of Economics.

External Visiting Professor (2010 – Present): Centre of Research in the Economics of Development, University of Namur.

Research Associate:  The Centre on Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE), Warwick University.


Research Network Initiatives


Co-Founder and Member of Organizing Committee (2016 - ) : Annual Conference on Economics of Social Sector Organizations, joint initiative of the Social Enterprise Initiative at the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago and the Marshall Institute, LSE. 

Co-founder and Core Member (2011 - ): Theoretical Research in Development (ThReD).

Co-founder and Core Member (2010 - ): Non-profits, Governments, and Organizations (NGO) research network.


Fellowships & Invited Short-Term Visiting Positions 


Visiting Fellow, Nuffield College, and Visiting Professor, Department of Economics, Oxford University (January-March, 2020).

Visiting Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, August 2019.

Visiting Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics, December 2016.  

Honorary Visiting Professor, Presidency University, Kolkata, August 2016

Visiting Professor, Stanford University: Stanford Centre for International Development, February 2016.  

Social Enterprise Initiative Visiting Fellow:  The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, March 2015.

Visiting Professor, CTRPFP Programme: Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, Jan-Feb 2015

Visiting Professor: MIT, May 2012

Visiting Professor: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, January–April 2008

Visiting Professor: Yale University, April 2007.

Visiting Scientist:  Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, July-August 2006. 

Visiting Fellow:  International/Development Visitor Program, Department of Economics, Northwestern University, March 2004.

Bhabatosh Datta Visiting Fellow: Center for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, May-July 2002

Visiting Assistant Professor: London School of Economics, January-March 1999.

Post-Doctoral Fellow: STICERD, London School of Economics, July-September 1996




DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme (DEGRP) Large Grant ES/L012103/1: Micro-credit, financial access and growth, (with T. Besley and K. Burchardi), 2014-2018.

International Growth Centre (IGC) Grant:  Cash Transfer Versus In-Kind Transfers: A Conceptual Framework & Preliminary Evidence from Bihar, 2012.

STICERD Grant “Regulating Microfinance: Theory and Policy in Light of the Indian Crisis”, 2012.

International Growth Centre (IGC) Grant (RST-U145):  Land Acquisition for Business and Compensation of Displaced Farmers, 2019-2012

STICERD Grant “Beyond Joint Liability: Topics in Microfinance”, 2010.

Microsoft Corporation Grant “Motivation and Incentives in Organizations”, 2007-2009.

ESRC Large Grant RES-000-23-0717 “Competition and Incentives in Public Service Provision” (with T. Besley) 2004-06.

University of Chicago, Social Science Division Dean's Research Grant, 2001-02. 

Mellon Cultural Training and Research Grant for field survey in West Bengal, 1999, University of Chicago.

The Simon Kuznets Award, 1993, Harvard University




Invited Special Lectures


R.C. Dutt Memorial Lecture, Centre of Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata

Foundation Day Lecture, Institute of Development Studies, Kolkata

Presentation on “Direct Transfer Policies for the Poor” in the Kautilya Conclave:  Redefining the Future”, Organized by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India and the Institute for Economic Growth, Delhi, July 2022.

Invited Lecturer, Advanced Graduate Workshop on Globalization, Development and Poverty, Azim Premji University, Bangalore, July 2022, 2023.

Eighth Golden Jubilee Lecture "On the Design on Anti-Poverty Policies", Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, May 2022.

Eminent Speaker Series, Ashoka University, March 2021

Inspiration Lecture Series, O. P. Jindal Global University, September 2020.

N. K. Majumdar Memorial Lecture, Presidency University, Calcutta, December 2019

Special Lecture, Conference on Contemporary Issues in Development Economics, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, December, 2019.

Public Lecture, JSW School of Public Policy IIM-Ahmedabad, August, 2019.

D.T. Lakdawala Memorial Lecture, University of Mumbai, Mumbai, August 2019.

Inaugural Lecture, ICG Annual Lectures, International Centre, Goa, April 2019.

Fifth Prof Suresh Tendulkar Memorial Lecture, Symbiosis International University, Pune, August 2018

Keynote speaker, Conference on "New Directions in Economic Theory and Empirical Economics", Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, August 2018

Plenary Speaker, The Micro and Macro Foundations of Conflict, January 19-20 (Fri-Sat), 2018; University of Bath, UK

Invited speaker, conference on "Political Economy Issues in Public Policy related to the Indian Economy", University of Mumbai, December 2017

Seventh B.G. Kumar Memorial Lecture, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, March 23, 2016.

Invited Speaker, 24th Annual Conference on Contemporary Issues in Development Economics, Jadavpur University, India, December 2015.

Keynote Speaker, 2015 RCEA Growth and Development Workshop, Rimini, Italy, May 2015.

Keynote Speaker, Workshop on Economic Growth in West Bengal, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, December 27, 2014.

Invited Speaker, 23rd Annual Conference on Contemporary Issues in Development Economics, Jadavpur University, India, December 2014.

Keynote Speaker, Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics: The Role of Theory in Development Economics, Washington DC, June 2014.

Keynote Speaker, The Impact of Institutions and Regulation on Public Services Conference, University of Bristol, Bristol, June 2014. 

Fudan-HSBC Lectures, Fudan University, Shanghai, March 2014.

Keynote Lecture, The Fourth Annual Conference on the Chinese Economy, Fudan University, Shanghai, December 2013.

Plenary Lecture, 9th Annual Conference on Economic Growth and Development, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi, December 2013.

Plenary Lecture, Conference on Empirical Issues in International Trade and Finance, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Kolkata, January 11, 2013.

Plenary Lecture, Workshop on Economic Growth in West Bengal, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, January 8, 2013.

The Fourth Dipak Banerjee Annual Memorial Lecture, Presidency College, Calcutta, January 6, 2011.

Plenary Lecture, International Growth Centre (IGC), India-Bihar Conference, Patna, December 2010.

Public Lecture, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) and Bangalore University, Bangalore, September 2, 2010. 

Invited Lecture Series, Winter School, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, December 2008.

Plenary Lecture, Annual World Bank Conference on Development Economics, Bled, Slovenia, May 2007.



Research Publications


Refereed Publications


1.     Why do People Stay Poor? (with C. Balboni, O. Bandiera, R. Burgess, and J.A. Heil). Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 137, Issue 2, Pages 785–844, May 2022.

2.     Motivating Information Agents: Can Incentive Pay Overcome Social Distance? (with E. Berg, R. Manjula, D. Rajasekhar, S. Roy). Economic Journal, Volume 129, Issue 617, pp 110–142, 2019.

3.     Commercialization and the Decline of Joint Liability Microcredit, (with J. de Quidt, T. Fetzer), Journal of Development Economics, Volume 10, pp 411-438, 2018.

4.     Market Structure and Borrower Welfare in Microfinance, (with J.  de Quidt, T. Fetzer), Economic Journal, Volume128, Issue 610, May 2018, Pages 1019-1046.

5.     Profit with Purpose? A Theory of Social Enterprise, (with Tim Besley). American Economic Journal - Economic Policy. Vol. 9, No.3, 2017, Pages 19-58.

6.     Credit Market Frictions and Political Failure (with Madhav Aney and Masismo Morelli). Journal of Monetary Economics, Volume 81, August 2016, Pages 48–64.

7.     Group Lending without Joint Liability, (with J. de Quidt, T. Fetzer). Journal of Development Economics. Volume 121, July 2016, Pages 217-236. 

8.     Land Acquisition for Industrialization and Compensation for Displaced Farmers, (with D. Mookherjee). Journal of Development Economics, Volume 110, Pages 239-249, September 2014.

9.     Contractual Structure in Agriculture with Endogenous Matching, (with Alexander Karaivanov), Journal of Development Economics, Volume 110, Pages 303-312, September 2014.

10.  Marry for What? Partner Selection in Modern India, (with A.V. Banerjee, E. Duflo, J. Lafortune). American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 5 2: 33-72, 2013.

11.  Trade and the Allocation of Talent with Capital Market Imperfections, (with R. Bonfatti). Journal of International Economics, 89 1: 187-201, 2013.

12.  Incentives and the de Soto Effect, ((with T. Besley, K. Burchardi). Quarterly Journal of Economics, 127 1: 237-282, 2012.

13.  Thanks for Nothing? Welfare Effects of Not-for-Profits with Endogenous Matching, (with H. Mueller). Journal of Public Economics, 95 1-2: 94-105, 2011.

14.  Entrepreneurial Talent, Occupational Choice, and Trickle Up Policies, (with M. Morelli, T. Sjostrom). Journal of Economic Theory, 137 1: 27-48, 2007.  [Reprinted in Parker, Simon C (2011). Entrepreneurship in Recession. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham].

15.  Wealth Inequality and Collective Action, (with P. Bardhan and A. Karaivanov). Journal of Public Economics, 91 9: 1843–1874, 2007. 

16.  Retailing Public Goods: The Economics of Corporate Social Responsibility, (with T. Besley). Journal of Public Economics, 91   9: 1645–1663, 2007. [Lead article] [Reprinted in Markets and Morals: Ethical Issues in Economics, Volume 14, Part 3 of History of science, philosophy, and culture in Indian civilization, Editor Ashok S. Guha, Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture, Centre for Studies in Civilizations, 2011]

17.  Subcontractors for Tractors: Asset Specificity and Contracting in a Manufacturer-Supplier Network, (with T. Andrabi, A. Khwaja).  Journal of Development Economics, 79 2: 273-492, 2006. [Lead article] 

18.  Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents, (with T. Besley). American Economic Review, 95 3: 616-636, 2005 

19.  Joint Liability Lending and the Peer Selection Effect, (with S. Gangopadhyay and R. Lensink). Economic Journal, 115 506: 1005-1115, 2005.

20.  Eviction Threats and Investment Incentives, (with A.V. Banerjee). Journal of Development Economics, 74 2: 469-488, 2004. 

21.  Can Unobserved Heterogeneity in Farmer Ability Explain the Inverse Relationship between Farm Size and Productivity? (with J. Assuncao). Economics Letters, 80 2: 189-194, 2003. 

22.  Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal, (with A.V. Banerjee and P. Gertler). Journal of Political Economy, 110 2: 239-280, 2002. [Lead article]

23.  A Simple Model of Inequality, Occupational Choice and Development, (with N. Jiang). Journal of Development Economics, 69 1: 205-226, 2001.

24.  Government versus Private Ownership of Public Goods, (with T. Besley). Quarterly Journal of Economics, 116 4: 1343 – 1372, 2001. 

25.  Occupational Choice and Dynamic Incentives, (with M. Morelli, T. Sjostrom). Review of Economic Studies, 68 4: 781-810, 2001.

26.  Financially Interlinked Business Groups, (with R. Kali). Journal of Economics and Management Strategy. 10 4: 591-619, 2001. 

27.  Contract Choice in Agriculture with Joint Moral Hazard in Effort and Risk, (with P. Pandey). Journal of Development Economics, 63 2: 303-326, 2000.

28.  Screening by the Company You Keep: Joint Liability Lending and the Peer Selection Effect. Economic Journal, 110 465: 601-631, 2000.

29.  The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice, (with T. Guinnane). Journal of Development Economics, 60 1: 195-228, 1999. [Reprinted in Readings in the Theory of Economic Development (ed.s) D. Mookherjee and D. Ray, London: Blackwell (2000)]

30.  Group Lending, Local Information and Peer Selection. Journal of Development Economics, 60 1: 27-50, 1999. 


Other Academic Publications


1.     Revisiting the Eswaran-Kotwal Model of Tenancy (with Dilip Mookherjee), Working Paper, Last Revised September 2023. Forthcoming in the Special Issue of Studies in Microeconomics in Memory of Ashok Kotwal.

2.     Direct Transfer Policies for the Poor, Working Paper, Last Revised November 2023.  Forthcoming in Journal of Social and Economic Development.

3.     Acquiring Land from Traditional Communities: Bottlenecks, Misallocation, and Second-Best Considerations (with Dilip Mookherjee), Oxford Open Economics, 2023, 2, 1–5.

4.     Inequality and Identity Salience, (with Thierry Verdier). Indian Economic Review, 2023, Vol. 58 (Suppl 1),  pp. 181–191.

5.     Trends in Economic Inequality in India, (with Ramya Raghavan and Linchuan Xu) The India Forum, September 19, 2022.  

6.     The COVID-19 Shock and the Indian Economy—A Cross-Country Comparative Analysis (with Ramya Raghavan),  Chapter 3 in Dutta, M., Husain, Z., Sinha, A.K. (eds) The Impact of COVID-19 on India and the Global Order. Springer, Singapore.

7.     Economic Theories of the Social Sector: From Nonprofits to Social Enterprise. LSE Public Policy Review. 2021; 1(3): 2, pp. 1–9.

8.     Is Funding a Large Universal Basic Income Feasible? A Quantitative Analysis of UBI with Endogenous Labour Supply” (with Xavier Jaravel), LSE Public Policy Review, 1(2): 3, pp. 1–11. 2020

9.     What Would Make India’s Growth Sustainable?” (with Ashok Kotwal and Bharat Ramaswami),  The India Forum, August 15, 2020.

10.  The Twin Crises of Covid-19 and How to Resolve Them” (with Ananda Lal Roy), The India Forum, April 28, 2020, reprinted in India and the Pandemic: The First Year, Essays from The India Forum, Orient BlackSwan, 2020. 

11.  An Inclusive Growth Dividend: Reframing the Role of Income Transfers in India’s Anti-Poverty Strategy, India Policy Forum 2019, Volume 16 (ed.s) Shekhar Shah, Barry Bosworth, and Karthik Muralidharan. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2021.

12.  "Property Rights and Productivity of Resource Allocation in Developing Countries", in Kaushik Basu, Maitreesh Ghatak, Kenneth Kletzer, Sudipto Mundle and Eric Verhoogen (ed.s) Development, Distribution, and Markets - Essays in Honour of Pranab Bardhan, Oxford University Press, 2021.

13.  Growth and the Subsidy-Raj in India: Re-examining the Bardhan Hypothesis, (with Ritwika Sen), Chapter 4 in Elizabeth Chatterjee and Matthew McCartney (ed.s) Class and Conflict – Revisiting Pranab Bardhan’s Political Economy of Development in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2020.

14.  Economic Theories of the Social Sector: From Nonprofits to Social Enterprise, Chapter 13 in Walter W. Powell and Patricia Bromley (ed.s) The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook, 3rd edition, Stanford University Press, 2020.

15.  Universal Basic Income Proposal - Some Theoretical Aspects with François Maniquet). Annual Review of Economics, 11:895–928, 2019.

16.  “Social Protection” and “Land Market Reforms” in Abhijit Banerjee, Gita Gopinath, Raghuram Rajan and Mihir S. Sharma (ed.s) What the Economy Needs Now, New Delhi: Juggernaut Books, 2019.

17.  Measures of Development—Concepts, Causality, and Context, in P. Ray, R. Sarkar, and A. Sen (ed.s) Economics, Management and Sustainability - Essays in Honour of Anup Sinha, Singapore: Springer, 2018.  

18.  Pro-social Motivation and Incentives, (with Tim Besley), Annual Review of Economics, Volume 10, pp 411-438, 2018. 

19.  Is the credit worth it? For-profit Lenders in microfinance with rational and behavioral borrowers (with Jon de Quidt), Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Volume 89, Issue 1, 2018, Pages 175-199.

20.  Economic determinants of the Maoist Conflict in India, (with Oliver Van den Eynde). Economic and Political Weekly of India, Vol. 52, Issue No. 39, September 30, 2017.

21.  Persistence of Poverty and Anti-Poverty Policies, in The Economics of Poverty Traps, ed.s C. Barrett, M. Carter, and J.-P. Chavas, National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018.

22.  Public-Private Partnership for the Provision of Public Goods: Theory and an Application to NGOs (with Tim Besley). Research in Economics, 71 (2): 356-371, June 2017.

23.  Cash versus Kind: Understanding the Preferences of the Bicycle-Programme Beneficiaries in Bihar, (with Chinmaya Kumar and Sandip Mitra), Economic and Political Weekly of India, Vol. 51, Issue No. 11, 12 Mar, 2016, p. 51-60.

24.  Theories of Poverty Traps and Anti-Poverty Policies, World Bank Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings of the ABCDE, Vol 29 (Supplement 1): S77-S105, August 2015.  

25.  Two States: A Comparative Analysis of Gujarat and Bihar’s Growth Performance Between 1981-2011 (with Sanchari Roy), India Review, Special Issue on India’s Economy: Growth, Governance, and Reform, ed. N. Singh, Volume 14, Issue 1, Pages 26-42, 2015.

26.  Land Acquisition and Compensation in Singur: What Really Happened? (with S. Mitra, D. Mookherjee, A. Nath). Economic and Political Weekly of India, 48 21: 32-44, 2014.

27.  Did Gujarat Switch to a Higher Growth Trajectory Relative To India under Modi? A Rejoinder (with Sanchari Roy), Economic and Political Weekly of India, May 3, 2014.

28.  Growth in the time of UPA: Myths and Reality (with Parikshit Ghosh & Ashok Kotwal), Economic and Political Weekly of India, April 19, 2014. (Reprinted in Economic Growth and its Distribution in India (ed.s) Pulapre Balakrishnan, Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2015.)

29.  Did Gujarat’s Growth Rate Accelerate under Modi? (with Sanchari Roy), Economic and Political Weekly of India, April 12, 2014.

30.  Bailouts and the Optimal Taxation of Bonus Pay, (with T. Besley). American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 103 3: 163–167, 2013.

31.  The Land Acquisition Bill: A Critique and a Proposal, (with P. Ghosh). Economic and Political Weekly of India, 46 41: 65-72, 2011.

32.  Implementing Health Insurance: The Rollout of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana in Karnataka, (with R. Durgam, E. Berg, R. Manjula, S. Roy). Economic and Political Weekly of India, 46 20: 56-63, 2011.

33.  Spanning the Chasm: Uniting Theory and Empirics in Microfinance Research, (with G. Fischer). In The Handbook of Microfinance (ed B. Armendáriz, M. Labie). Singapore: World Scientific, 59-71, 2011.

34.  Property Rights and Economic Development, (with T. Besley). In The Handbook of Development Economics Volume V (ed D. Rodrik, M. Rosenzweig). The Netherlands: North-Holland, 4525-4595, 2010.

35.  Status Incentives, (with T. Besley). American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 98 2: 206-211, 2008.

36.  Reforming Public Service Delivery, (with T. Besley). Journal of African Economics, 16 1: 127-156, 2007.

37.  Land Reform and Agricultural Productivity in India: A Review of the Evidence, (with S. Roy). Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 23 2: 251-269, 2007.

38.  Land Reform. In The Oxford Companion to Economics in India (ed K. Basu). New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 328-332, 2007.

39.  Sorting with Motivated Agents: Implications for School Competition and Teacher Incentives, (with T. Besley). Journal of the European Economic Association, Papers and Proceedings, 4 2–3:404–414, 2006.

40.  Public Goods and Economic Development, (with T. Besley). In Understanding Poverty (ed A.V. Banerjee, R. Benabou, D. Mookherjee), New York: Oxford University Press, 285-302, 2006.

41.  Inequality and Collective Action, (with P. Bardhan, A. Karaivanov). In Economic Inequality, Collective Action, and Environmental Sustainability (ed P. Bardhan, S. Bowles, J. M. Baland). Princeton: Princeton University Press, 36-59, 2006.

42.  Who should provide public goods? A Perspective from the Theory of Organizations? In Development, Displacement and Disparity - India in the Last Quarter of the Century (ed S. Marjit, N. Banerjee). New Delhi: Orient Longman, 98-138, 2005.

43.  Incentives, risk and accountability in organizations, (with T. Besley). In Organizational Encounters with Risk (ed B. Hutter, M. Power). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 149-166, 2005.

44.  Incentives and Accountability in the Provision of Public Services, (with T. Besley). Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 19 2: 235-249, 2003.

45.  Recent Reforms in the Panchayat System in West Bengal: Toward Greater Participatory Governance? (with M. Ghatak). Economic and Political Weekly of India, 37 1: 45-58, 2002. Reprinted in Decentralisation: Institutions and Politics in Rural India (ed.s) Satyajit Singh and Pradeep K. Sharma, Oxford University Press, Delhi.

46.  Diversified Business Groups in Emerging Economies, (with R. Kali). Money and Finance, 2 4: 20-31, 2000.


Working Papers


1.     Public Service Delivery, Exclusion and Externalities: Theory and Experimental Evidence from India (with Alex Armand, Britta Augsburg, and Antonella Bancalari), Submitted.

2.     Motivational Investments and Financial Incentives (with Z. Wahhaj), Revise and resubmit. 

3.     Estimating poverty in India in the absence of NSS consumption expenditure data (with Rishabh Kumar).

4.     The Role of Finance in the Process of Development: Improving Access versus Reducing Frictions, (with T. Besley and K. Burchardi). Working Paper. Latest version: April 2021.

5.     The Evolution of Motivation, (with T. Besley). Working Paper. January 2023.

6.     Markets and Values: Cultural Evolution and Intrinsic Motivation, (with Tim Besley). Latest version: February 2016.  

7.     Should all voluntary exchanges be legal? Latest version: September 2, 2014

8.     Repayment Frequency and Lending Contracts with Present-Biased Borrowers, (with Greg Fischer). Working Paper. Last Revised: September 2016.


Work In Progress


1.     Misallocating Misallocation? (with Dilip Mookherjee), commissioned by the Annual Review of Economics.

2.     Inequality Traps in Convex and Convexified Economies (with Andrew F. Newman).

3.     The Large Effects of Vanishingly Small Bias (with Debraj Ray).

4.     Can Taste for Discrimination Persist in Competitive Markets? (with Zaki Wahhaj).

5.     Non-homothetic Preferences and Persistent Inequality: A Dynamic Model (with Linchuan Xu).

6.     Mobility and the Allocation of Talent (with Amartya Lahiri and Ramya Raghavan)

7.     Quantity vs Quality : Examining the State of the Indian Labour Market (with Mrinalini Jha and Jitendra Singh).

8.     Design of Surveys in the Presence of Budget Constraints (with Rohit Lamba).

9.     Sustainable Investment (with Tim Besley).  

10.  Revisiting the Effect of Operation Barga on Agricultural Productivity in West Bengal Using New Yield Data (with Sanchari Roy).

11.  Relaxing Credit and Tenure Security Constraints: Credit and Land Titling in Uganda (with Markus Goldstein, James Habyarimana, Joao Montalvao, Michael O’Sullivan, Christopher Udry).

12.  The Welfare Effects of Informal Finance (with T. Besley and K. Burchardi).

13.  Missing Markets and Backward Bending Supply Curve of Land, (with Madhav Aney and Sanjay Banerji).

14.  Regulating Asset Sales: Mandating Golden Parachutes? (with Dilip Mookherjee).


Older Working Papers


1.     Reputation, Information Externalities, and Discrimination, Version: September 2014.

2.     Solving Agency Problems: Intrinsic Motivation, Incentives, and Productivity (with Tim Besley). Background paper for the World Development Report 2015. Last Revised: January 2014.

3.     Microfinance, Market Structure, and Borrower Welfare in Microfinance: Regulatory Lessons from the Indian Crisis (with Jon de Quidt and Thiemo Fetzer), Working Paper, March 2012.

4.     Gun Control and the Self Defense Argument, Version: January 2001

5.     Taxation and Regulation of Bonus Pay, (with Tim Besley). C.E.P.R. Discussion Paper No. 8532, 2011

6.     Credit Rationing, Wealth Inequality, and Allocation of Talent, (with Massimo Morelli and Tomas Sjostrom). STICERD Theoretical Economics Discussion Paper TE/2002/441, 2002.



Selected Essays


1.     The simmering debate over poverty rate, Mint, May 4, 2023

2.     Estimation of poverty in India, Introduction to an e-Symposium for Ideas for India, October 10, 2022

3.     A simple realistic solution to the paywall problem, Hindustan Times, May 27, 2022.

4.     How has Covid-19 affected India’s economy? Economics Observatory, June 30, 2021.

5.     India's Inequality Problem, The India Forum, July 2, 2021.

6.     The real problem is of unequal opportunities, Forbes India, 12th Anniversary Special Issue, May 21, 2021.

7.     2021 West Bengal Assembly election: Did the Covid-19 surge matter? Ideas for India, May 12, 2021.

8.     West Bengal’s economic performance relative to India over the last three decades, Ideas for India, May 1, 2021.

9.     Relentlessly pursuing growth can uproot the tree that bears us fruit, The Economic Times, December 23, 2020.

10.  Comparing Rishi Sunak's Plan for the UK To India's Steps to Deal with the Covid-19 Crisis, in, July 20, 2020.

11.  A blueprint to protect labour rights without constraining capital, Hindustan Times, July 4, 2020.

12.  The World Health Organization: A GRID for reform, in, May 30, 2020.

13.  The Twin Crises of Covid-19 and How to Resolve Them, The India Forum, April 28, 2020.

14.  The World Has a $2.5 Trillion Problem. Here’s How to Solve It. The New York Times, April 20, 2020.

15.  Coronavirus Will Upend the 'Profits Over People' Mantra of Globalisation, The Wire, April 4, 2020.

16.  Vital additions to empirical research, The Hindu, October 18, 2019. 

17.  What Lies Behind Abhijit Banerjee’s Nobel, The Open, October 17, 2019. 

18.  Why Do We Insist on Debating Politics with Our Friends and Family? The Wire, May 22, 2019.

19.  Not long-term solution to poverty but useful ‘first-aid’, NYAY e-Symposium, Ideas for India, May 1, 2019.

20.  Poverty and Inequality in a ‘Principles of Economics’ Textbook, Economic and Political Weekly of India, Vol. 53, Issue No. 24, 16 Jun, 2018

21.  Pricing Social Returns in Economic Growth, Business Standard, October 19, 2018.

22.  With Thaler’s Nobel Win, Behavioural Economics Has Officially Made Its Way into the Mainstream, The Wire, October 13, 2017.

23.  India Needs to Create Greater Economic Opportunities for all, The Economic Times, October 9, 2017.

24.  Combating poverty in developing countries with a universal basic income,, July 17, 2017

25.  Nobel Prize in Economics 2016: The Economy as a Nexus of Contracts. Ideas for India, October 20, 2016.

26.  Is India ready for a universal basic income scheme? Ideas for India, September 2, 2016.

27.  Angus Deaton - The Real World Economist. The Indian Express, October 16, 2015

28.  Moving beyond the growth-versus-redistribution debate. Ideas for India, August 14, 2015.  

29.  Yes, a Land Acquisition Act Can Address Both Justice and Prosperity (with Parikshit Ghosh). The Wire, June 1, 2015.

30.  Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the most dynamic state of them all? (with Sanchari Roy), Ideas for India, March 23, 2014

31.  Beyond Nandigram: Industrialization in West Bengal (with A.V. Banerjee et al). Economic and Political Weekly of India, April 28, 2007.

32.  Strategy for Economic Reform in West Bengal (with A.V. Banerjee et al). Economic and Political Weekly of India, October 12, 2002.


The complete list of essays and op-eds with links available at: 




Regular columnist,, The Hindustan Times

Regular contributor, Anandabazar Patrika (Bengali), The India Forum, The Wire

Regular contributor and Co-Editor, Ideas for India

Founding contributor, VoxDev.Org  

Occasional contributor: The New York Times,, The Guardian, The Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindu, The Economic Times,, The Open, Business Standard, The Print, The Outlook, Mint, The Financial Express, The Tribune, The Telegraph, DNA.




Completed Theses Supervised  


Principal Advisor to: Jay Lee (Assistant Professor, University of Stockholm), Claudio Schilter (Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Zurich), Munir Squires (University of British Columbia, Assistant Professor),  Rocco Macchiavello (Professor of Economics, Warwick ; Post-doc, Nuffield College, Oxford), Masayuki Kudamatsu (Assistant Professor, IIES, Stockholm), Emmanuel Frot (Assistant Professor, SITE, Stockholm School of Economics), Paolo Masella (Assistant Professor, University of Sussex), Sanchari Roy (Assistant Professor, University of Sussex), Konrad Burchardi (Assistant Professor, IIES, Stockholm), Selim Gulesci (Assistant Professor, Bocconi), Erlend Berg (Lecturer, University of Bristol), Madhav Aney (Assistant Professor, Singapore Management University), Giacomo Rodano (Bank of Italy), Hannes Mueller (Post-Doc IAE-CSIC, Barcelona), Anett Hoffman (Assistant Professor, CREST-ENSAE, Paris), Thiemo Fetzer (Assistant Professor, Warwick), Jonathan de Quidt (Assistant Professor, IIES, Stockholm), Neville  Nien-Huei Jiang (Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University).  

Member of Thesis Committee: Christian Ahlin (Professor, Michigan State; Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University), Xavier Gine (World Bank), Hyeok Jeong (Assistant Professor, University of Southern California), Alexander Karaivanov (Assistant Professor, Simon Fraser University), Priyanka Pandey (Assistant Professor, Penn State), Kenichi Ueda (I.M.F.), Ankur Vora (Boston Consulting Group), Kumar Aniket (Lecturer, Murray Edwards & Newnham College, University of Cambridge), Fernando Aragon (Simon Fraser, Assistant Professor).