Dr. Shabana Mitra’s main research interest lies in understanding inequality in access to resources, based on many aspects including gender, class, caste and networks. Her formative work was on measuring poverty and inequality and this evolved into more passionate inquiries about what impacts inequality in society. Her work here probes two distinct fields – initiatives and institutions. The first is in the realm of policy initiatives and explores how government policies impact the allocation of resources. This includes work on the Bihar cycle programme, demonetization and the evolution of Regional Rural Banks. The second is in exploring how institutions affect allocation of resources, wherein the focus is largely on the political economy of India and discusses aspects such as clientelistic politics and vote-buying that weaken institutions. Another exciting trajectory of this domain has been exploring institutions across the international political economy and the allocation of global resources. This includes work on colonial history, democratization, conflict and political treaties and also links to understanding global investment flows and international business.
She has published in leading academic journals, including The Economic Journal, Econometric Reviews, Journal of Comparative Economics and Social Indicators Research.
Shabana’s teaching interests link to her research in development economics. Prior to this, she worked at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, World Bank, Washington DC, and the Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), Norway. She completed her PhD in Economics from Vanderbilt University in 2011. She has consulted for UNICEF, World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford. She has also held a visiting position at the University of Oslo, Norway.
She is the recipient of awards, including the Noel Dissertation Fellowship 2010-2011 and the Rendigs Fels Award for Excellence in Teaching 2008, from Vanderbilt University.
Development Economics, Political Economy, Applied Econometrics