I am an economist at the Development Research Group (DECRG) at the World Bank. I am also an associate of the Center for International Development (Harvard University) and an affiliate at the Centre for Policy Research (New Delhi). I received my PhD in economics from Harvard University and was then a postdoctoral research fellow in the Economics Department and Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
I primarily work with high spatial resolution administrative and remote sensing data to better understand the spatial distribution of economic activity, growth and poverty in developing countries. With my coauthor Paul Novosad, I have assembled geocoded panel data covering the universe of Indian firms and individuals from 1990 to the present. With these census datasets, we can ask questions about the impacts of economic changes and government policies at highly local levels, and examine heterogeneity to a degree that is typically not possible with sample surveys.
Here is a sample of current papers that I’m working on:
(i) The labor market impacts of 100,000+ rural roads built in India since 2001 (my job market paper, link here);
(ii) How powerful politicians influence economic growth in their constituencies;
(iii) The impact of mining booms and busts on political corruption and local patterns of industrialization;
(iv) How competition between contractors affect road construction costs and quality in Tanzania and India.
I am also starting new work on patterns of urbanization, with a focus on the distribution of economic activity within and across Indian cities.