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 Knowledge Agents: Can Incentive Pay Overcome Social Distance? (with E.Berg, R. Manjula, D. Rajasekhar, Sanchari Roy). Economic Journal, Volume 129, Issue 617, 1 January 2019, Pages 110–142.

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

4.     Commericalization and the Decline of Joint Liability Microcredit, (with J. de Quidt, T. Fetzer). Journal of Development Economics, Volume 134, Pages 303-312, September 2018.

5.     Profit with Purpose? A Theory of Social Enterprise (with T. Besley). American Economic Journal - Economic Policy. Volume 9, Number 3, August 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 Jon de Quidt and Thiemo Fetzer). Journal of Development Economics. Volume 121, July 2016, Pages 217-236.  

8.     Contractual Structure in Agriculture with Endogenous Matching, (with Alexander Karaivanov),  Journal of Development Economics, Volume 110, Pages 239-249, September 2014.

9.     Land Acquisition for Industrialization and Compensation for Displaced Farmers, (with Dilip Mookherjee). Journal of Development Economics, Volume 110, Pages 303-312, September 2014.

10.  Trade and the Allocation of Talent with Capital Market Imperfections, (with Roberto Bonfatti). Journal of International Economics,Volume 89, Issue 1, p. 187–201, January 2013.

11.  Marry for What? Partner Selection in Modern India, (with Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Jeanne Lafortune). [Online Appendix]. American Economic Journal (Microeconomics), 5(2), p. 33–72, May 2013.

12.  Incentives and the de Soto Effect, (with Tim Besley and Kornad Burchardi), Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 127, Issue 1, p. 237-282, February 2012.

13.  Thanks for Nothing? Not-for-Profits and Motivated Agents,  (with Hannes Mueller), Journal of Public Economics, Volume 95, Issues 1-2, Pages 94-105, February 2011.

14.  Retailing Public Goods: The Economics of Corporate Social Responsibility (with Tim Besley), Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 91, No. 9, p. 1645–1663, September 2007.

15.  Wealth Inequality and Collective Action (with Pranab Bardhan and Alexander Karaivanov), Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 91, No. 9, p. 1843–1874, September 2007.

16.  Entrepreneurial Talent, Occupational Choice, and Trickle Up Policies (with Massimo Morelli and Tomas Sjostrom), Journal of Economic Theory, Volume 137, No. 1, November 2007.

17.  Subcontractors for Tractors : Theory and Evidence on Flexible Specialization, Supplier Selection, and Contracting , (with Tahir Andrabi and Asim Ijaz Khwaja). Journal of Development Economics, April 2006.

18.  Joint Liability Lending and the Peer Selection Effect, (with S. Gangopadhyay and R. Lensink), Economic Journal, October 2005.

19.  Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents (with Tim Besley), American Economic Review, June 2005.

20.  Eviction Threats and Investment Incentives, (with Abhijit Banerjee) Journal of Development Economics, August 2004.

21.  Can Unobserved Heterogeneity in Farmer Ability Explain the Inverse Relationship between Farm Size and Productivity?  (with Juliano Assuncao), Economics Letters, August 2003.

22.  A Simple Model of Inequality, Occupational Choice and Development, (with Nien-Huei Jiang). Journal  of Development Economics, Vol. 69, No. 1, October 2002.

23.  Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal, (with Abhijit Banerjee and Paul Gertler). Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 110, No. 2, April 2002. [See press coverage

24.  Government versus Private Ownership of Public Goods, (with Tim Besley). Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 116, No. 4, p.1343 – 1372, November 2001.

25.  Occupational Choice and Dynamic Incentives, (with Massimo Morelli and Tomas Sjostrom). Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 68, No. 4, October 2001 p. 781-810.

26.  Financially Interlinked Business Groups  (with Raja Kali) Journal of Economics and Management Strategy. Vol. 10, Issue 4, p. 591-619, Winter 2001.

27.  Contract Choice in Agriculture with Joint Moral Hazard in Effort and Risk, (with Priyanka Pandey). Journal of Development Economics, Vol.63, No.2, December 2000.

28.  Screening by the Company You Keep: Joint Liability Lending and the Peer Selection Effect. Economic Journal, Vol.110, Issue 465, July 2000.

29.  The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability : Theory and Practice (with Timothy W. Guinnane). Journal of Development Economics, Vol.60, No.1, October 1999. Reprinted in Readings in the Theory of Economic Development (ed.s) D. Mookherjee and D. Ray, London: Blackwell (2000). See also Corrections to this paper, Journal of Development Economics, Vol.69, No.1, October 2002.

30.  Group Lending, Local Information and Peer Selection. Journal of Development Economics, Vol.60, No.1, October 1999.




Other Publications


1.     Direct transfer policies for the poor, Forthcoming, Journal of Social and Economic Development,

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

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

4.     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.

5.     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.

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

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

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

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

10.  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.

11.  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.

12.  Public-Private Partnership for the Provision of Public Goods: Theory and an Application to NGOs (with Tim Besley), Research in Economics, Volume 71, Issue 2, June 2017, Pages 356–371 (Earlier version available here). 

13.  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.

14.  Bailouts and the Optimal Taxation of Bonus Pay, (with Tim Besley). American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 103(3), p. 163–167, May 2013.

15.  Spanning the Chasm: Uniting Theory and Empirics in Microfinance Research, (with Greg Fischer), in B. Armendariz and M. Labie (ed.s), Handbook of Microfinance, World Scientific, 2011.  

16.  Property Rights and Economic Development (with Tim Besley), in D. Rodrik and  M. Rosenzweig (ed.s) Handbook of Development Economics V, North Holland, 2010.

17.  Status Incentives (with Tim Besley), American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, May 2008.

18.  Reforming Public Service Delivery, (with Tim Besley), in Journal of African Economics, Vol 16, AERC Supplement 1, p. 127-156, 2007. [See press coverage

19.  Land Reform and Agricultural Productivity in India: A Review of the Evidence (with Sanchari Roy), Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 23(2): India, Summer 2007.   

20.  Land Reform, entry in The Oxford Companion to Economics in India edited by Kaushik Basu, Oxford University Press, 2007.

21.  Inequality and Collective Action, (with Pranab Bardhan and Alexander Karaivanov) in P. Bardhan, S. Bowles and J. M. Baland (ed.) Economic Inequality, Collective Action, and Environmental Sustainability, Princeton University Press, 2006.

22.  Public Goods and Economic Development, (with Tim Besley) in Understanding Poverty, (ed.s) A. Banerjee, R. Benabou, and D. Mookherjee, editors, Oxford University Press: 2006.

23.  Sorting with Motivated Agents: Implications for School Competition and Teacher Incentives, (with Tim Besley), Journal of the European Economic Association, Papers and Proceedings, 2006.

24.  Incentives, risk and accountability in organizations (with Tim Besley), in Organizational Encounters with Risk (ed.s) Bridget Hutter and Michael Power, Cambridge University Press, 2005.

25.  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) S. Marjit and N. Banerjee, Orient Longman, 2005.

26.  Incentives, Choice and Accountability in the Provision of Public Services, (with Tim Besley), Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 19 (2): Financing and Managing Public Services. 2003.

27.  Diversified Business Groups in Emerging Economies (with R. Kali), Money and Finance, Vol.2, No. 4, Oct.-Dec. 2000.



Research and Policy Articles on India



1.     The simmering debate over poverty rate, (with Rishabh Kumar), Mint, May 4, 2023.

2.     Trends in Economic Inequality in India, (with Ramya Raghavan and Linchuan Xu) The India Forum, September 19, 2022. (click here for pdf version).

3.     The Covid-19 Shock and the Indian Economy – A Cross-Country Comparative Analysis (with Ramya Raghavan), Chapter 3 in Mousumi Dutta, Zakir Husain and Anup Sinha (ed.s) The Impact of COVID-19 on India and the Global Order: A multidisciplinary approach, Springer.

4.     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.  

5.     How has Covid-19 affected India’s economy? (with Swati Dhingra) Economics Observatory, June 30, 2021.

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

7.     2021 West Bengal Assembly election: Did the Covid-19 surge matter? (with Pushkar Maitra) 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.     An assessment of policy performance under the current regime, Ideas for India, February 1, 2021.

10.  What Would Make India’s Growth Sustainable? (with Ashok Kotwal and Bharat Ramaswami), The India Forum, August 13, 2020.

11.  The Twin Crises of Covid-19 and How to Resolve Them, (with Ananda Lal Roy), The India Forum, April 24, 2020.

12.  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 ConflictRevisiting Pranab Bardhan’s Political Economy of Development in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2020.

13.  Social Protection and Land Market Reforms in Abhijit Banerjee, Gita Gopinath, Raghuram Rajan and Mihir S. Sharma (ed.sWhat the Economy Needs Now, New Delhi: Juggernaut Books, 2019.

14.  The Mirage of Modinomics(with Udayan Mukherjee), The India Forum, March 8, 2019.

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

16.  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.

17.  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.

18.  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. Click here for the comment to which this piece responds to.

19.  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.  

20.  Did Gujarat’s Growth Rate Accelerate under Modi? (with Sanchari Roy), Economic and Political Weekly of India, April 12, 2014. See here the version with the latest year's data.

21.  Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Which is the Most Dynamic State of All (with Sanchari Roy), Ideas for India, March 23, 2014. 

22.  Land Acquisition and Compensation in Singur: What Really Happened? (with Sandip Mitra, Dilip Mookherjee and Anusha Nath), Economic and Political Weekly of India, Vol - XLVIII, No. 21, May 25, 2013

23.  The Land Acquisition Bill: A Critique and a Proposal (with Parikshit Ghosh), Economic and Political Weekly of India, October 8, 2011, Vol. XLVI, No 41.  (Click here and here for shorter versions, and here for press coverage] 

24.  Implementing Health Insurance: The Rollout of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana in Karnataka, (with Durgam, R., Berg, E., Manjula,R., and Roy, S.),  Economic and Political Weekly of India, May 2011

25.  Beyond Nandigram: Industrialization in West Bengal (with Abhijit Banerjee, Pranab Bardhan, Kaushik Basu, Mrinal Datta-Chaudhuri, Ashok Guha, Mukul Majumdar, Dilip Mookherjee, and Debraj Ray), Economic and Political Weekly of India, April 28, 2007

26.  Strategy for Economic Reform in West Bengal (with Abhijit Banerjee, Pranab Bardhan, Kaushik Basu, Mrinal Datta-Chaudhuri, Ashok Guha, Mukul Majumdar, Dilip Mookherjee, and Debraj Ray), Economic and Political Weekly of India, October 12, 2002.   

27.  Recent Reforms in the Panchayat System in West Bengal: Toward Greater Participatory Governance? (with Maitreya Ghatak). Economic and Political Weekly of India, Vol 37, No 1, January 5, 2002. Reprinted in Decentralisation: Institutions and Politics in Rural India (ed.s) Satyajit Singh and Pradeep K. Sharma, Oxford University Press, Delhi. [See press coverage]


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Last modified: September 2023.

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