India Country Research Team

The India Country Research Team is a multidisciplinary group composed of eight researchers from institutions throughout the world. The team members offer expertise in diverse disciplines including economics, education, philosophy, political science, social policy, and statistics. They bring a wealth of experience in conducting research in a developing-country context, and many are based in India, or have close ties with the region. A key institution for the research is the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), which is based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has its South Asia office at the Institute for Financial Management and Research in Chennai, India.

Principal Investigators

Karthik Muralidharan

Karthik is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego, and Co-Chair of Education Research at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is considered one of the world’s leading scholars on education in developing countries, especially in India. He has an exceptional track record of conducting rigorous randomized evaluations at scale while working closely with governments. He has authored highly cited studies on governance in Indian schools. In Andhra Pradesh, he has conducted large-scale experimental evaluations of a range of education policies, including performance pay, block grants, diagnostic feedback and private school vouchers. As an academic scholar, he invests time and effort in communicating and disseminating research results to broader audiences in nontechnical language. He has given over 120 invited lectures and seminars in over 15 countries in the past decade, and has written influential policy-oriented documents including the approach paper on primary education for India’s 12th Five-Year Plan. His primary research interests include development, public, and labor economics. Born and raised in India, he earned an A.B. in Economics (summa cum laude) from Harvard, an M.Phil. in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard.

Abhijeet Singh

Abhijeet Singh is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics. His research focuses on an analysis of education systems and interventions in developing countries and has been published in leading journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of the European Economic Association and the Journal of Development Economics. Prior to joining SSE, Abhijeet was employed as a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Economics at UCL and the Young Lives study at the University of Oxford. He holds a D.Phil and an M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Oxford and a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Delhi.

India Researchers

Yamini Aiyar

Yamini Aiyar is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research and director of the Accountability Initiative (AI), a research group that focuses on tracking government planning, budgeting, and decision-making systems in key social sector programs. She has worked with the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program and Rural Development unit in Delhi, where she focused on action research aimed at strengthening mechanisms for citizen engagement in local government. She was also a member of the decentralization team at the World Bank that provided policy support to strengthen Panchayati Raj (local governance) in India. Her current research focus is on understanding conditions under which social policy reform can be embedded and sustained. Yamini is a TED fellow and a member of the Open Society Foundation's fiscal governance program advisory board. She was also a founding member of the International Experts Panel of the Open Government Partnership and a member of the World Economic Forum’s global council on good governance. Yamini is a regular participant in public debate on social policy in India. She writes regularly in national newspapers and has participated in several government committees and policy dialogues. Yamini has an M.Sc. in Development Studies from the London School of Economics, an M.A. in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Delhi University.