My latest CV is available here.
I am a development economist and demographer. I am an Assistant Professor in Economics at CUNY Hunter College. I completed my PhD in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin. My research focuses on the interrelationships among health, the environment, and social inequality in India.
My working paper, co-authored with other students, "Social disadvantage, economic inequality, and life expectancy in nine Indian states," (published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) was the winner of the 2021 Dorothy S. Thomas Award, given by the Population Association of America for the best graduate student paper on the interrelationships among social, economic, and demographic variables. The study is the first to estimate and decompose life expectancy differences between higher-caste Hindus and three of India's most disadvantaged social groups: Adivasis, Dalits, and Muslims.
Another area of my research focuses on the causes and consequences of poor air quality in India. My single-authored paper, “Child health impacts of coal: Evidence from India’s coal expansion,” which is forthcoming in Journal of Human Resources, is a winner of the 2019 Parker Frisbie Publication Award, given by the Population Research Center at UT Austin for the best graduate student paper addressing pressing issues in demographic research and population science. It was also a 2019 PAA Poster Award recipient. This paper is the first to econometrically identify the effects of local coal plant exposure on human capital in the developing world.
I have also done extensive research on cooking fuel use in rural India, an important cause of poor air quality in rural settings. My paper, co-authored with other students, "Gender and LPG use after government intervention in rural north India," (published in World Development) uses original quantitative and qualitative survey data to explore why households are slow to adopt clean cooking fuels in rural north India. We find that patriarchal gender norms and attitudes encourage the use of solid fuels in this region. Another paper, "Persistence of Solid Fuel Use in Rural North India," published in the Indian policy journal, Economic & Political Weekly, documents the persistence of the use of solid fuels in rural north India, despite a large-scale government program that subsidized rural households in transitioning to gas.
A third theme of my research has been to investigate the causes and consequences of poor sanitation in rural north India. I had the privilege to present the findings of this research in a widely-viewed TEDx Talk.
I have lived and worked in India on and off for the past ten years. In 2013, I started working with r.i.c.e., a non-profit research organization which aims to inform child health policy in India. With the r.i.c.e. team, I have designed and implemented multiple quantitative and qualitative field research projects in rural north India.
I have an MS in Economics from UT Austin, an MPA from Princeton University, and a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Doing field work in Uttar Pradesh in 2016.
Training surveyors for the Survey of Rural Sanitation and Solid Fuel Use, the second wave of a panel survey that interviewed 1,550 households in rural Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. This survey was carried out in 2018 in collaboration with my colleagues from r.i.c.e.
The SQUAT Survey team in Rajasthan in 2014. This survey was carried out in collaboration with my colleagues from r.i.c.e.