Research Statement

Research Papers

  • Building State Capacity: Evidence from Biometric Smartcards in India, with Paul Niehaus and Karthik Muralidharan (both UCSD).
    2nd round revise and resubmit requested, American Economic Review
    [NBER Working Paper w19999] [Latest version, July 2015]

  • Does Firm Ownership Structure Matter? Evidence from Sugar Mills in India, under review
    [Latest version, Oct 2015]

  • Corruption in India: Bridging Research Evidence and Policy Options, with Milan Vaishnav (CEIP).
    July 2015, Brookings-NCAER India Policy Forum 2014.
    [Final pre-publication version]

  • The Impact of Corruption on Consumer Markets: Evidence from the Allocation of 2G Wireless Spectrum in India.
    Journal of Law and Economics, Feb 2015 (vol 58).
    A previous version circulated under the title "Much Ado About Nothing? Corruption in the Allocation of Wireless Spectrum in India."
    [Final pre-publication version]

  • Corruption Dynamics: The Golden Goose Effect, with Paul Niehaus (UCSD).
    American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol 5, no 4, pp 230-69, November 2013.
    Awarded the 2014 American Economic Journal: Economic Policy best paper prize by the American Economic Association.
    [Published version] [Final pre-publication version] [Data]

  • The Marginal Rate of Corruption in Public Programs: Evidence from India, with Paul Niehaus (UCSD).
    Journal of Public Economics, vol 104, pp 52-64, August 2013.
    A previous version circulated under the title "Marginal Leakage and Public Programs."
    [Published version] [Final pre-publication version]

  • Sweetening the Deal? Political Connections and Sugar Mills in India
    American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, vol 4, no 3, pp 43-63, July 2012.
    [Published version] [Final pre-publication version] [Data] [Appendix]

  • Does Happiness Pay? An Exploration Based On Panel Data from Russia, with Carol Graham (Brookings) and Andrew Eggers (Oxford).
    Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, vol 55, no 3, pp 319-342, Nov 2004.

  • Does Economic Crisis Reduce Support for Markets and Democracy in Latin America? Some Evidence from Surveys of Public Opinion and Well Being, with Carol Graham (Brookings).
    Journal of Latin American Studies, vol 36, no 2, pp 349-377, May 2004.


  • General Equilibrium Effects of (Improving) Public Employment Programs: Experimental Evidence from India, with Karthik Muralidharan and Paul Niehaus (both UCSD).
    Examines labor market impacts of the Smartcards intervention studied in "Building State Capacity" above.

  • Price Risk and Poverty, with Lucie Gadenne (Warwick), Sam Norris (Northwestern), and Monica Singhal (Harvard Kennedy School).
    Examines the role of price risk and the provision of in-kind transfers.

  • Policy Analysis by Revealed Preference: With an Application to Food Security, with Karthik Muralidharan and Paul Niehaus (both UCSD).
    Experiment that offers cash transfers in lieu of food rations in India's PDS.

Policy and Other Writing

  • What do We Know about Corruption in India?, with Milan Vaishnav (CEIP).
    Ideas for India, July, 2015.
    [Ideas for India version] [Mint version]

  • Building State Capacity for Better Programme Implementation: Lessons from the Andhra Pradesh Smartcard Programme, with Karthik Muralidharan and Paul Niehaus (both UCSD).
    Ideas for India, December, 2014.
    [Ideas for India version] [Mint version]

  • The Sweet Spot.
    Op-ed, The Indian Express, November, 2014.
    [Published version]

  • Because the Price was Right.
    Op-ed, The Indian Express, February, 2014.
    [Published version]

  • Two Questions about the 2G Scam.
    Ideas for India, March, 2013.
    [Published version]

  • Implementing a Biometric Payment System: The Andhra Pradesh Experience, with Piali Mukhopadhyay (GiveDirectly), Karthik Muralidharan (UCSD) and Paul Niehaus (UCSD).
    [Technical report, 2013]

  • Corruption in MGNREGA.
    Ideas for India, July, 2012.
    [Published version]

  • What Determines MGNREGA Wages? Some Evidence on Voice and Exit from Orissa.
    India in Transition, April 9, 2012.
    [Published version]

  • The Right to Choose your Food, with Karthik Muralidharan and Paul Niehaus (both UCSD).
    Op-ed, The Indian Express, August 2, 2011.
    [Published version] [Original version ]

  • Assessing the Scope for Cash Transfers in lieu of the TPDS in Rural and Urban Bihar, with Karthik Muralidharan and Paul Niehaus (both UCSD).
    [Policy report, 2011]

  • The Bigger They are, the Harder They Fall: The Cost of the Crisis in Corporate Governance, with Carol Graham and Robert Litan (both Brookings).
    Milken Institute Review, 5(1): First Quarter 2003, pp 37-45.