I completed my PhD in Development Economics from the University of Cambridge (UK), where I was the recipient of the Nehru-Cambridge and the British Chevening Scholarships. My PhD work received the Wrenbury Award. After my doctoral studies, I joined the Applied Economics Department at Cambridge as a Research Associate for three years, before moving to the Open University as a Research Consultant. I am now a Reader in Development Economics at the University of Liverpool Management School, where I also teach the subject. I am the co-director of India in the World Research Centre and coordinate the Development Research Initiative (DRIVE) - a Multidisciplinary Knowledge Platform at the Management School. I am also the Research Impact Lead for the Management School.
My key research interest is in evaluating the interplay between economic policy and gender. My work examines the impact of public policy interventions on the socio-economic wellbeing of girls and women living in developing countries using an intersectional approach. From this perspective, I have done extensive work on the impact of financial inclusion on women (including debt related vulnerabilities like debt bondage); women’s reproductive health (with a focus on menstrual health); women’s livelihoods and their labour market participation (including forced migration and unfree labour). I am also interested in the question of women in leadership positions and their impact on public policy. You can read more about each of these streams of research under the Research page. I use mixed-methods in my work, relying on both quantitative and qualitative methods to draw out the intersectionality between various institutional influences like patriarchy, caste and other power structures.
Keen about the impact of my research on policy and practice, I have led several knowledge exchange projects. Noteworthy is the work with stakeholders of India's microfinance sector to enhance its impact on rural women's livelihoods (https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/management/research/impact/microfinance-india/). I have also contributed to India's menstrual health policy by delineating a role for informed choice in improving the inclusivity and sustainability of menstrual interventions (https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/management/research/impact/menstrual-hygiene/). My work has been funded by DFID, Newton Trust, the British Academy and UKRI among others and has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals and also features periodically in media outlets both in India and the UK.