Sonalde Desai | Ideas for India

Sonalde Desai
University of Maryland
Sonalde Desai is a Professor of Sociology at University of Maryland with joint appointment as a Senior Fellow at the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi. She received a Ph.D. from Stanford University and post-doctoral training at University of Chicago and The RAND Corporation.

She is a demographer whose work deals primarily with human development in developing countries with a particular focus on gender and class inequalities. She studies employment, education and maternal and child health outcomes by locating them within the policy discourse and political economy of the region. While much of her research focuses on India, she has also undertaken comparative studies across South Asia, Latin America and Sub Saharan Africa.

Articles By Sonalde Desai
Declining female labour force participation in rural India: The demand side
Posted On: 07 Mar 2017

Topics:   Gender , Jobs

National Sample Survey data shows a decline in rural women’s workforce participation between 2004-05 and 2011-12. Rising rural incomes and women’s education over the same period have been taken as evidence of supply-side factors for the decline in participation. Analysing data from the India Human Development Surveys, this column suggests that the explanation may instead be a lack of demand for female labour.

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Of Picasso and Cezanne: Early achievers vs. late bloomers
Posted On: 24 Nov 2015

Topics:   Education
Tags:   Schooling

Children learn at different paces – some are early achievers while others bloom late. In this article, Desai and Vanneman, Professors of Sociology at University of Maryland, present evidence to show that children from privileged backgrounds are much more likely to overcome early disadvantages in learning, as compared to those from poorer backgrounds. The New Education Policy should recognise this and support children that are falling behind.

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