Economic Development, Globalization & Structural Transformation, Inequality, Employment, Human Capital, Institutions
I am a development economist. Born and raised in India, I trained in economics, development studies and energy policy. Prior to joining UCSB I served as an economist at the Asian Development Bank, where I worked on electricity sector reforms, macroeconomic monitoring, and the economics of education and employment. I returned to the academy in 2007, joining UCSB's Global Studies program to study development and globalization alongside colleagues attacking these issues from multiple disciplinary perspectives, and to work with students pursuing interesting policy questions.
I teach courses in political-economy, economic development, public policy and social science research methods. I enjoy advising (or better yet, co-advising) students whose research seeks practical solutions to pressing social problems. Previous advisees have studied agricultural development, gender inequality, climate change, aid effectiveness, the distribution of merit goods, labor rights and various models to enable the survival of socially responsible businesses.
My core research focuses on the connections between employment, education, inclusive development and globalization. Recent papers in this area examine the claim that globalization has rendered national labor markets increasingly interconnected, document ways that globalization has made it difficult for countries to grow through manufacturing job creation, and ask how education contributes to industrial upgrading.
I also work with collaborators across the discipilnes to study how growth and social change alter the political-economy of public services provision. One major project in this area asks why economic growth in low-income democracies results in serious efforts to combat corruption in some public services but not in others. Another shows how US public universities, faced with growing numbers of disadvantaged students and dwindling public budgets, increasingly exclude disadvantaged students from their most lucrative fields of study.
Click on titles for final journal articles and working paper links for non-paywalled versions.
- Will studying economics make you rich? A regression discontinuity analysis of the returns to college major (with Zachary Bleemer), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (forthcoming). Working Paper.
- Is employment globalizing? (with Liming Chen, Jesus Felipe and Andrew Kam), Structural Change and Economic Dynamics (2021). Working Paper.
- The effects of labor regulation on firms and exports: Evidence from Indian apparel manufacturing (with Asha Sundaram and Rana Hasan), Journal of Comparative Economics (2021). Working Paper.
- Manufacturing matters... but it's the jobs that count (with Jesus Felipe and Changyong Rhee), Cambridge Journal of Economics, (2019). Working Paper.
- When Development is Not Enough: Structural Change, Conflict and Gendered Insecurity (with Alison Brysk), Global Society, (2017). Working Paper.
- Is Only Fair Lovely? Consequences of Skin Color in a Survey Experiment in Delhi (with Amit Ahuja and Susan Ostermann), Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics (2016). Working paper.
- Labor Regulations, Employment and Wages: Evidence from India's Apparel Sector, (with Rana Hasan, Nidhi Kapoor and Asha Sundaram). Asian Economic Policy Review (2017).
- Deindustrialization? A Global Perspective (with Jesus Felipe), Economics Letters (2016). Working Paper.
- Research Diversification and Impact: The Case of National Nanoscience Development (with Patrick Herron, Timothy Lenoir and Cong Cao), Scientometrics (2016). Working paper.
- Pilferage from Opaque Food Subsidy Programs: Theory and Evidence (with Shikha Jha), Food Policy, (2014). Working paper.
- Do rights at home boost rights abroad? Sexual equality and humanitarian foreign policy (with Alison Brysk), Journal of Peace Research (2014). Working paper.
- Self-targeted food subsidies and voice: Evidence from the Philippines (with Shikha Jha and Pilipinas Quising), Food Policy (2013). Working paper.
- Does industry affiliation influence wages? Evidence from Indonesia and the Asian Financial Crisis (with Wei Sun), World Development (2013). Working paper.
- Where have all the educated workers gone? Services and wage inequality in three Asian economies (with Jesus Felipe, Pilipinas Quising and Sheila Camingue), Metroeconomica (2013). Working paper.
- Corruption, Food Subsidies and Opacity: Evidence from the Philippines (with Shikha Jha), Economics Letters (2012). Working paper.
- Economic Liberalization and Rising College Premiums in Mexico: A Reinterpretation (with Belinda Acuna Mohr), World Development (2012). Working paper.
- The effects of trade and services liberalization on wage inequality in India (with Rana Hasan), International Review of Economics and Finance (2012). Working paper.
- Globalization and De-Globalization in Nanotechnology Research: The role of China (with Patrick Herron, Yasuyuki Motoyama, Richard Appelbaum and Tim Lenoir), Scientometrics (2012). Working paper.
- Overeducation in Developing Economies: How can we test for it and what does it mean? (with Jesus Felipe, Pilipinas Quising and Sheila Camingue), Economics of Education Review (2011). Working paper.
- Incomplete Property Rights, Exposure to Markets, and the Provision of Ecosystem Services in China (with Michael T. Bennett and Jintao Xu), China Economic Review (2011). Working paper.
- Understanding the Coffee Crisis: What Can We Learn from Price Dynamics? (with Jean-Paul Chavas), Journal of Development Economics (2008). Working paper
- Why Do Diplomas Pay? An Expanded Mincerian Framework Applied to Mexico (with Hector J. Villarreal), Applied Economics. (2008). Working paper.
- Power Sector Reform in Central Asia: Observations on the Diverse Experiences of Five Central Asian Republics and Mongolia (with Anil Terway & Satish Rao), Journal of Cleaner Production (2007). Working paper.Under-Representation of Disadvantaged Classes in College: What do the Data Tell Us? (With Rana Hasan), Economic and Political Weekly (of India) (2006). Working paper.
- Price Dynamics in a Vertical Sector: The Case of Butter (with Jean-Paul Chavas), American Journal of Agricultural Economics (2004). Working paper.
- Metrics that Matter: Student life in the quantified university (with Zachary Bleemer, Christopher Muellerleile, Mukul Kumar and Christopher Newfield). Johns Hopkins University Press (forthcoming).
- Education and the Evolution of Comparative Advantage (with Jesus Felipe and Hongyuan Jin, 2021). Asian Development Bank, Economics Working Paper Series 635
- Endogeneity Bias and Other Problems in the Estimation of Production Functions (with Donna Faye Bajaro, Jesus Felipe and John McCombie, 2021).
- Will this get me a job? Gender, Employment and College Attainment, Before and After the Mancession (with Vedant Koppera, 2017)
Book Chapters and Reports
- Major restrictions, socioeconomic stratification and student success (with Zachary Bleemer). University of California Office of the President Policy Brief (2020).
- What humanities scholars and economists think higher education is for – and how quantification sidelines both views (with Christopher Newfield). In Anna Alexandrova, Stephen John and Christopher Newfield (eds.) The Limits of the Numerical. University of Chicago Press (forthcoming).
- Asia's Structural Transformation: Where to, how, and how fast? (with Jesus Felipe, Roehl Briohnes, Douglas Brooks and Bart Verspagen, 2013).
- Education and Structural Change in Four Asian Countries (with Jesus Felipe, 2007)
- International Payments Imbalances (with Frank Harrigan and Jesus Felipe, 2006)
- A Diagnostic Review of Regulatory Approaches and Challenges: Power Sector Reforms in Seven CAREC Member Countries(with David Butcher, 2005)
- The Economics and Feasibility of Electricity Generation using Manure Digesters on Small and Medium Size Dairy Farms. (2002).
Invited Online Articles
- Are Labor Markets Increasingly Global? Some Empirical and Policy Concerns, Global-e, the E-journal of 21st Century Global Dynamics Initiative (2018)
- How Serious are India’s Manufacturing Skill Gaps? , Ideas for India (2015)
- The Manufacturing Conundrum, (with Jesus Felipe and Changyong Rhee), World Bank Jobs and Development Website (2015)
- Five ways to lessen inequality as demand for labor softens worldwide, Huffington Post (2014).
- Strawberries, Chocolate and Skill Gaps, World Bank Jobs and Development Website (2014).
- Why Global students should study economics. Global-e, the E-journal of 21st Century Global Dynamics Initiative (2013)
In the works..
- Major restrictions and student stratification (with Zachary Bleemer)
- What does economic growth do to public services corruption? (with Amit Ahuja).
- Does studying economics change your political perspective (with Zachary Bleemer)
- Trade liberalization and inequality as if Businessmen existed (with Andrew Dawson, Miguel Flores Segovia and Asha Sundaram)
- Does the US Nanotechnology sector suffer a skills gap? (with Stacey Frederick and Rachel Parker)
- Making sense of India's manufacturing "skill gaps" (with Deboshree Ghosh)