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.

Publications / In Press


Intergenerational Mobility in India: New Measures and Estimates Across Time, Space, and Communities (with Sam Asher and Charlie Rafkin)
AEJ: Applied 16:2 (2024)
Online Methods Appendix
Fact Sheet for media.
All-India mobility map.
Interactive Delhi mobility map.
→ Code for generating bottom half mobility (mu-0-50), all-India town, subdistrict, and district-level local mobility estimates: github:paper-anr-mobility-india
→ Winner of the Asian Development Bank-International Economic Association Innovative Policy Research Award (2022)


Rent-Seeking and Criminal Politicians: Evidence from Mining Booms (with Sam Asher)
Review of Economics and Statistics 105: 1 (2023)
Replication Repo


COVID mortality in India: National survey data and health facility deaths (with Prabhat Jha, Yashwant Deshmukh, Chinmay Tumbe, Wilson Suraweera, Aditi Bhowmick, Sankalp Sharma, Sze Hang Fu, Leslie Newcombe, Hellen Gelband, and Patrick Brown)
Science 10.1126/science.abm5154 (2022)


Mortality Change Among Less Educated Americans (with Charlie Rafkin and Sam Asher)
AEJ: Applied 14:4 (2022)
→ Replication/methods code: github:paper-nra-mortality


Impacts of regional lockdown policies on COVID-19 transmission in India in 2020 (with Aarushi Kalra)
Economics and Politics Weekly 57:14 (2022)


Big, Open Data for Development: A Vision for India (with Sam Asher, Aditi Bhowmick, Alison Campion, and Tobias Lunt)
India Policy Forum (2021, not peer reviewed)


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)
World Bank Economic Review 35:4 (2021)
Paper Appendix
SHRUG Codebook
Download the SHRUG


Representative Estimates of COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rates from Four Locations in India (with Rebecca Cai, Vaidehi Tandel, Sam Asher, and Anup Malani)
BMJ Open 9:1 (2021)


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 12:1 (2020)


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


COVID-19 mortality effects of underlying health conditions in India: a modelling study (with Radhika Jain, Alison Campion, and Sam Asher)
BMJ Open 10:e043165 (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 9:1 (2017)
Replication code and data posted at AEJ:Applied.

Work in Progress


Residential Segregation and Unequal Access to Local Public Services in India: Evidence from 1.2m Neighborhoods (with Anjali Adukia, Sam Asher, Kritarth Jha and Brandon Tan)
Revision requested at American Economic Review
Paper Summary
Twitter Thread
Media Fact Sheet


In-group bias in the Indian judiciary: Evidence from 5 million criminal cases (with Elliott Ash, Sam Asher, Aditi Bhowmick, Sandeep Bhupatiraju, Daniel Chen, Tanaya Devi, Christoph Goessman, and Bilal Siddiqi)
2nd revision requested at Review of Economics and Statistics
Paper summary and open data on 80 million judicial cases in India
Our op-ed in the Hindustan Times
→ Media coverage: Hindustan Times, The Telegraph (India), The Indian Express, Economic & Political Weekly, Bar and Bench, The Print
Best Paper at ACM SIGCAS Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies (COMPASS) 2021


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


Cultural capital and access to opportunity: Evidence from subcaste norms in India (with Sam Asher, Aditi Bhowmick, and Maurizio Bussolo)


Access to Opportunity in the Sciences: Evidence from the Nobel Laureates (with Sam Asher, Catriona Farquharson, and Eni Iljazi)


Intergenerational Mobility Across South Asia (with Sam Asher)

On Hold or Retired


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


Adaptive Control of COVID-19 Outbreaks in India: Local, Gradual, and Trigger-based Exit Paths from Lockdown (with with Anup Malani et al.)


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


The Cost of Distance: Geography and Governance in Rural India (with Sam Asher and Karan Nagpal)


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


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.