Kala Krishna is Liberal Arts Research Professor of Economics at the Pennsylvania State University. She grew up in New Delhi, India and Washington D.C.. After a B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Delhi University, she received Ph.D in Economics from Princeton University in 1984. She was Assistant and Associate Professor of Economics at Harvard University from 1984-1992, William L Clayton Professor of International Economic Affairs at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University 1992-1993, and Professor of Economics at The Pennsylvania State University since 1993. She has published in the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, the International Economic Review, the American Economic Journals, the Journal of International Economics, among others.
She has had visiting appointments at NYU, MIT, Princeton, The Hebrew University, University of Copenhagen, Stockholm University, the IMF, World Bank, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. She was a Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) from 1984-1992 and has been a Research Associate since then. She is also affiliated with CES-IFO. She is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Economic Literature, and a number of other journals. She has consulted for the World Bank and the IMF. Her research interests are in Trade, Development, Industrial Organisation, Political Economy, Auctions, Crime and most recently Education. She has worked extensively on trade policy issues, including Voluntary Export Restraints, Free Trade Areas and Rules of Origin, and the Multi Fibre Arrangement. A focus of recent work is trade policy in heterogeneous firm settings and is currently involved in a number of projects using Chinese data. In education she is working on affirmative action and on the costs and benefits of repeat taking of university entrance exams using data from Turkey and China.