Kaivan Munshi | Ideas for India

Kaivan Munshi
University of Cambridge
Kaivan Munshi completed his B.Tech. in Civil Engineering from IIT Bombay in 1986 and his economics from MIT in 1995. He is currently professor of economics at Brown University. Munshi’s research career has been devoted almost exclusively to the analysis of social networks. His early research focused on social learning in the adoption of agricultural and contraceptive technology, and the identification of migrant labour market networks. His subsequent research has examined the effect of networks on education, health, and mobility, which are key determinants of growth and development. Much of this research has been situated in India, where caste is a natural social domain around which networks are organised. However, other work has been situated in diverse locales, including Kenya, Bangladesh, and the United States.

Articles By Kaivan Munshi
Why is labour mobility in India so low?
Posted On: 04 Jul 2016

Topics:   Jobs

Rural-to-urban migration is surprisingly low in India, compared with other large developing countries, leaving higher paying job opportunities unexploited. This column shows that well-functioning rural insurance networks are partly responsible, as they incentivise adult males to remain in villages. Policies that provide private credit to wealthy households or government safety nets to poor households would encourage greater labour mobility, but could have unintended distributional consequences.
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The persistence of caste in India: An economic explanation
Posted On: 16 Jul 2012

Topics:   Caste
Tags:   networks

Despite many efforts by the government and by civic institutions, the caste system continues to have a firm hold on Indian society. This column presents an economic explanation for this persistence and argues that economic development rather than social engineering may be the most effective way to dismantle this system.
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