Tata Chancellor's Endowed Professor of Economics
Director, 21st Century India Center
University of California, San Diego
PhD, economics, Yale University (2009)
BA, math and economics, University of Pennsylvania (2004)
Research interests: development, organizations, health, applied micro
BE 300 (Applied Microeconomics; BBA)
BUSABRD 320 (Doing Business in India, BBA)
ECON 666 (Economic Development, PhD)
In 2023-2024 at UC San Diego, I will be co-teaching a PhD course on organizations in low-income countries,
and master's courses on new economic opportunities and challenges in India and on the economics of organizations.
University of Michigan:
ECON 666: Economic Development, 2018-2022 | PhD | Syllabus
BUSABRD 320: Doing Business in India, 2018-2020 | BBA | Syllabus
BE 300 / BE 557: Applied Economics, 2015-2020 | BBA / master's | Syllabus
BE 888: Enterprise and Health in Emerging Economies , 2014, 2016 | PhD | Syllabus
HMP 663: The Economics of Health Management and Policy II , 2014 | MPH/MHSA | Syllabus
HPM 591a: Global Health Economics, 2010-2012 | MPH | Syllabus
We study the behavior of managers who share workers across teams to weather absenteeism shocks. Relationships have some smoothing value, but many potentially beneficial transfers are left unrealized. We simulate the gains to increased relationship formation and find that the firm could reduce worker misallocation and increase productivity substantially by spurring relationship formation.
pdf | Journal of the European Economic Association (forthcoming)
No Line Left Behind: Assortative Matching Inside the Firm
Do talented managers match with productive workers, or with those who are struggling to perform? We find negative assortative matching of managers and workers. Despite supermodularity of production, "misallocating" managerial skill in this way may be optimal for firms who value buyer relationships.
pdf | Review of Economics and Statistics (forthcoming)
Hostel Takeover: Living Conditions, Reference Dependence, and the Wellbeing of Migrant Workers
Worker satisfaction depends critically on how expectations are set by firms. Migrant workers experienced large losses in subjective wellbeing when randomized improvements in hostel living conditions were more modest than expected.
pdf | Journal of Public Economics (forthcoming)
Managerial Quality and Productivity Dynamics
What makes a good manager good? We let the data tell us -- and find that hard-to-observe things like attention and control have large effects on productivity, and are drastically undervalued in manager pay.
pdf | Review of Economic Studies, 2023, 90:4
Management and Shocks to Worker Productivity
When workers face environmental shocks, managers reallocate tasks within teams, shifting workers away from jobs in which their performance is most affected.
pdf | Journal of Political Economy, 2022, 130:1 (lead article)
Helping Children Catch Up: Early Life Shocks and the Progresa Experiment
Protecting Infants from Natural Disasters: The Case of Vitamin A Supplementation and a Tornado in Bangladesh
with Snaebjorn Gunnsteinsson, Teresa Molina, Parul Christian, Alain Labrique, Jonathan Sugimoto, Abu Ahmed Shamim, and Keith P. West, Jr.
Can policy protect against the often devastating human impacts of environmental shocks? We study this question by leveraging data from a situation in which a tornado tore through an area involved in a double-blind cluster-randomized controlled trial of at-birth vitamin A supplementation in Bangladesh.
pdf | Journal of Development Economics, 2022, 158
(Mis)information and Anxiety: Experimental Evidence from a Covid-19 Information Campaign
We ask whether information can be delivered without negative consequences to mental health. We randomly assigned individuals to receive Covid-19 information through text messages, a pre-recorded audio message, or phone calls. Phone calls were effective at engaging individuals. They improved Covid-19 knowledge and reduced depression and anxiety; the amount of information delivered does not account for this effect.
pdf | Journal of Development Economics, 2021, 152
When It Rains It Pours: The Long-run Economic Impacts of Salt Iodization in the United States
An Anatomy of Performance Monitoring
Performance monitoring works because managers can better target skill investments in their workers. But skills depreciate, so failing to refresh training can result in dilution of productivity impacts over time.
pdf | june 2022 | R&R, Journal of Political Economy
An anatomy of the incredible, flexible organization -- how a leading auto manufacturer responds to the ever-increasing complexity of production associated with the introduction of new models on the shop floor.
pdf | march 2023 | R&R, Journal of Political Economy
Sotto Voce: The Impacts of Technology to Enhance Worker Voice
Enabling worker voice through a two-way, anonymous, SMS-based technology decreases absenteeism and turnover, despite infrequent usage. Our findings suggest a substantial option value of voice, which can promote positive workplace behaviors even when workers do not directly avail themselves of the technology.
pdf | september 2021 | R&R, Economic Journal
Rapport in Organizations: Evidence from Fast Food
Rapport between managers and workers matters for organizational performance. We show that when managers and their teams are more matched on gender identity, quick-service restaurants can take better advantage of demand shocks.
pdf | november 2023 (NEW!)
Child Health, Parental Well-Being, and the Social Safety Net
Parents' preferences to personally provide care for their children during the critical years following a severe health shock drive persistent changes in labor supply and income -- evidence from childhood cancers in Denmark.
pdf | may 2023 (NEW!)
REVIEWS / OTHER
Workers, managers, and productivity: How investments in workers can fuel India’s productivity growth
with Smit Gade, Jean-Francois Gauthier, Anant Nyshadham, and Sandhya Srinivas
India Policy Forum, 2023
The Stakeholder Disagreement Metric (SDM): Quantifying Preference Disagreement Between Product Stakeholders
with Suzanne Chou et al.
Developing metrics for disagreement in the preferences of stakeholders in early-stage product design.
Journal of Mechanical Design, 2023
"He was trapped in his own web” - Dependent drinking as a poverty trap: a qualitative study from Goa, India
with Jaclyn Schess et al.
Qualitative evidence on alcohol consumption as a poverty trap in India.
published (gated) | Drug and Alcohol Review, 2020
Cash transfers for clinical and household economic outcomes among HIV-affected households in Uganda: A factorial randomized trial
with Ed Mills et al.
Can cash transfers improve the health of HIV-positive individuals in low-income settings?
published (gated) | AIDS, 2018
Management Quality and Worker Productivity in Developing Countries
Review article: management interventions can improve worker and firm productivity in low-income country contexts.
pdf | IZA World of Labor, 2018
An Experiment in India Shows How Much Companies Have to Gain by Investing in Their Employees
with Lavanya Garg, Namrata Kala, and Anant Nyshadham
A summary of our work on soft skills training for female garment workers in India.
link | HBR, 2017
Early Childhood Health and Development in India: A Review of the Evidence and Recommendations for the Future
with Prashant Bharadwaj and Samuel Krumholz
We review the status of early childhood development in India and make recommendations for future policy focus, informed by theory and evidence on interventions that work around the world.
pdf | NCAER-Brookings India Policy Forum, 2017
Psychological distress in Ghana: associations with employment and lost productivity
with Maureen Canavan et al.
What is the economic incidence of mental health disorders?
published | International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 2013, 7(9)
The Impact of a Novel Franchise Clinic Network on Access to Medicines and Vaccinations in Kenya
with Justin Berk
Franchised clinics may improve healthcare access for young children.