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 Muralidharan 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.

Headshot of Mauricio Romero

Mauricio Romero is an assistant professor of economics at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). He was born and raised in Colombia, where he earned a B.A. in economics (summa cum laude) and a B.A. in mathematics (cum laude) from Universidad de los Andes. He did a Ph.D. in economics at the University of California, San Diego.

Mauricio’s work focuses on the bottlenecks that impede high-quality government provision of education, health care, and environmental protection. In conjunction with his empirical research agenda, he works on methodological issues in applied econometrics and statistics.

Abhijeet Singh

Abhijeet Singh is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE). His research focuses on the 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, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Economics at UCL and the Young Lives study at the University of Oxford. He holds a DPhil and an MSc in economics from the University of Oxford and a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Delhi.

India Researchers

Ankit Agarwal in front of city scenery

Ankit Agarwal is a Research Associate at Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Labs (JPAL). He holds a Master's degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee. He is currently working on Mindspark Rajasthan which seeks to study the impact of education technology on learning outcomes of students in primary and middle schools across Rajasthan, India.

Yamini Aiyar

Yamini Aiyar is the President and Chief Executive of CPR. Her research interests are in the field of social policy and development. In 2008, she founded the Accountability Initiative at CPR. Under her leadership, the Accountability Initiative has produced significant research in the areas of governance, state capacity and social policy. It pioneered a new approach to tracking public expenditures for social policy programs and is widely recognised for running the country’s largest expenditure-tracking survey in elementary education. Her own research on social accountability, elementary education, decentralisation, and administrative reforms has received both academic and popular recognition.