I am an associate professor of economics at Dartmouth College. My research examines why poor countries have remained poor for so long, and what policy interventions can help improve people's lives in developing countries. My team builds new open source economic data from information age sources like satellites, and private and government sector data exhaust.

Some of my recent projects have focused on judicial bias in India, the impacts of India's large-scale rural roads program, the impacts of mineral sector development, and on measuring intergenerational mobility in developing countries. I also have several projects on machine learning and statistical methods with applications to the U.S. mortality crisis.

I am founder of Development Data Lab and a creator of The SHRUG, which Sam Asher, Toby Lunt and I are turning into the best open data platform for socioeconomic research in India and beyond. My Google Scholar page is here.

Spring 2021 Econ 24 @Dartmouth!



Rent-Seeking and Criminal Politicians: Evidence from Mining Booms (with Sam Asher)
(Accepted at Review of Economics and Statistics)


Development Research at High Geographic Resolution: An Analysis of Night Lights, Firms, and Poverty in India using the SHRUG Open Data Platform (AKA the SHRUG paper, with Sam Asher, Toby Lunt, and Ryu Matsuura)
(Accepted at World Bank Economic Review)
Paper Appendix
SHRUG Codebook
Download the SHRUG


COVID-19 mortality effects of underlying health conditions in India: a modelling study (with Radhika Jain, Alison Campion, and Sam Asher)
BMJ Open 2020;10:e043165


Rural Roads and Local Economic Development (with Sam Asher)
American Economic Review 110:3 (2020)


Educational Investment Responses to Economic Opportunity: Evidence from Indian Road Construction (with Anjali Adukia and Sam Asher)
AEJ: Applied Economics 12:1 (2020)


The Ecological Footprint of Transportation Infrastructure (with Sam Asher and Teevrat Garg)
Economic Journal 130:629, 1173-1199 (2020)


Who Runs the International System? Nationality and Leadership in the United Nations Secretariat (with Eric Werker)
The Review of International Organizations
14:1 (2019)
Replication files and data on nationality of senior UN staff (1947-2013).
Online Appendix


Politics and Local Economic Growth: Evidence from India (with Sam Asher)
AEJ: Applied Economics 9:1 (2017).
Replication code and data posted at AEJ:Applied Economics.

Papers Under Review


Representative Estimates of COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rates from Three Locations in India (with Rebecca Cai, Vaidehi Tandel, Sam Asher, and Anup Malani) (Revise and Resubmit at BMJ Open)


Mortality Change Among Less Educated Americans (with Sam Asher and Charlie Rafkin) (Conditionally accepted at AEJ: Applied Economics)
→ Replication/methods code: github:paper-nra-mortality


Intergenerational Mobility in India: New Methods and Estimates Across Time, Space, and Communities (with Sam Asher and Charlie Rafkin) (submitted)
Online Methods Appendix
Fact Sheet for media.
All-India mobility map.
Interactive Delhi mobility map.
→ Code for generating bottom half mobility (μ-0-50), all-India town, subdistrict, and district-level local mobility estimates: github:paper-anr-mobility-india


Moment Forests (with Denis Nekipelov and Stephen P. Ryan) NBER Working Paper No. 22976 (submitted)

Work in Progress


The Long-run Development Impacts of Agricultural Productivity Gains: Evidence from Irrigation Canals in India (with Sam Asher, Alison Campion, and Doug Gollin)


Measuring Gender and Religious Bias in the Indian Judiciary (with Elliott Ash, Sam Asher, Aditi Bhowmick, Daniel Chen, Tanaya Devi, Christoph Goessman, and Bilal Siddiqi)
Paper summary and data
Our op-ed in the Hindustan Times


Residential Segregation in Urban India (with Anjali Adukia, Sam Asher, and Brandon Tan)


Digging for Development: Economic Impacts of Mining Booms (with Sam Asher)


Long-run Impacts of Agricultural Productivity Gains: Evidence from 100-year-old Canals (with Sam Asher, Alison Campion and Doug Gollin)


Adaptive Control of COVID-19 Outbreaks in India: Local, Gradual, and Trigger-based Exit Paths from Lockdown, NBER Working Paper No.27532 (with Anup Malani et al.)

Working Papers on Hold


The Impacts of Local Control over Political Institutions: Evidence from State Splitting in India (with Sam Asher)

Retired Working Papers


Getting Signal from Interval Data: Theory and Applications to Mortality and Intergenerational Mobility (with Sam Asher and Charlie Rafkin)
→ This methods paper has been integrated into the mortality and mobility papers above and retired.