Rohini Somanathan, Professor of Economics at the Delhi School of Economics.

Rohini Somanathan
Delhi School of Economics
Rohini Somanathan is Professor of Economics at the Delhi School of Economics. She received her Ph.D. in 1996 from Boston University and has held faculty positions at Emory University, the University of Michigan and the Indian Statistical Institute before joining the Delhi School of Economics in 2005. Much of her research focuses on how social institutions interact with public policies to determine patterns of economic and social inequality. She has also worked on a variety of questions related to development policy in the Indian context. These include studies on the effects of economic liberalisation on productivity and wage inequality, access to microfinance, the impact of school nutrition programs on child outcomes and the assessment of alternative policies to counter urban environmental problems such as solid waste and air pollution.

Articles By Rohini Somanathan
Malnutrition and the National Food Security Act
Posted On: 31 Oct 2017

Topics:   Health

The National Food Security Act aims to remove hunger and reduce malnutrition by providing subsidised foodgrains to two-thirds of the population. Using nationally representative data, this column finds that the Act is unlikely to greatly affect food consumption and malnutrition. However, a fully implemented Act can still benefit the poor through the income transfers implicit in food subsidies.
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The battle for backwardness
Posted On: 22 Feb 2017

Ahead of the assembly elections in Punjab, the state government granted ‘Other Backward Classes’ status to Rajput Sikhs. In this article, Rohini Somanathan contends that caste reservations first emerged to promote equal treatment in a society where untouchability was widely practised, but have now degenerated into a scramble for privilege and a catalyst for communal conflict.
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Nobel insights: When it comes to contracts, what’s obvious may not be optimal
Posted On: 18 Oct 2016

In a tribute to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström, recipients of this year’s Nobel prize in Economics, Rohini Somanathan, Professor of Economics at Delhi School of Economics, outlines their contributions.
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Socially disadvantaged groups and microfinance in India
Posted On: 16 May 2016

The benefits of microfinance are in the details. This column takes a look at lending by commercial banks in India to self-help groups – smaller, informal community-based groups – as a new and successful microfinance initiative. Different ways of thinking about getting credit to the poorest and most marginalised in society can work, but only if the institutions are properly geared up for their customers
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Religion and relief in Muzzafarnagar
Posted On: 10 Jan 2014

Topics:   Conflict

The communal riots that broke out in Muzzafarnagar in the state of Uttar Pradesh in September last year took several lives and left hundreds homeless. In this Note from the Field, Rohini Somanathan shares her experience of visiting two of the largest relief camps in the region. While state relief was lacking, local Muslim communities were found to be providing a great deal of support to the refugees.
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