Karthik Muralidharan | Ideas for India

Karthik Muralidharan
University of California, San Diego
Karthik Muralidharan is an associate professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego where he joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 2008.

Born and raised in India, he earned an A.B. in economics (summa cum laude) from Harvard, an M.Phil. in economics from Cambridge (UK), and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an Affiliate at the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), a Member of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) network, an Affiliate at the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), and a Research Affiliate with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).

Prof. Muralidharan's primary research interests include development, public, and labor economics. Specific topics of interest include education, health, and social protection; measuring quality of public service delivery; program evaluation; and improving the effectiveness of public spending (with a focus on developing countries). Courses taught include undergraduate and graduate classes in development economics, program evaluation, and the economics of education.

Articles By Karthik Muralidharan
Charting a course for the Indian economy
Posted On: 05 Aug 2015

Karthik Muralidharan (Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego) speaks with Arvind Subramanian (Chief Economic Adviser, Government of India) on a broad set of issues ranging from the uniqueness of the Indian development model, the political economy of reforms, reducing factor misallocation in the economy, enhancing State capacity, financing India´s infrastructure needs, to the implications of the Fourteenth Finance Commission, improving the design of social welfare programmes, and climate change.

This is the third in the series of I4I Conversations.

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Big and small ideas in development economics: Theory, evidence and practice
Posted On: 03 Feb 2015

Karthik Muralidharan, Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego speaks with Kaushik Basu, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, World Bank and former Chief Economic Adviser, Government of India, on the World Bank’s global development agenda; inequality and the design of anti-poverty policies; contribution of recent academic research to development policy; research evidence, political economy and policymaking; State capacity for implementation; and law and economics.
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Building state capacity for better programme implementation: Lessons from the Andhra Pradesh Smartcard Programme
Posted On: 03 Dec 2014

Biometric payment systems are posited to reduce leakages in public welfare programmes but there is limited evidence on their effectiveness. This column presents evidence on the impact of the Andhra Pradesh Smartcard Programme on MNREGS and Social Security Pension beneficiaries, based on a large-scale randomised controlled trial. It finds substantial economic benefits, and concludes that using biometric payment infrastructure to deliver welfare payments can be a game changer for governance in India.
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A conversation on Bihar
Posted On: 03 Nov 2014

Topics:   Economic Growth

I4I Guest Editor Karthik Muralidharan (Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego) speaks with Anjani Kumar Singh (Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar) during the IGC Growth Week in London, on issues ranging from the successes and challenges of Bihar in the past five years, constraints on industrialisation, skilling, spatial distribution of development, to frequent transfer of bureaucrats and role of research inputs in policymaking.
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Building an inclusive and high-performing school system
Posted On: 29 Jan 2014

Topics:   Education

Clause 12 of the Right to Education Act aims to reduce social stratification in education by requiring private schools to reserve one-fourth of their seats for economically weaker students, with the government reimbursing their fee up to a maximum of per-child spending in public schools. This column argues that the RTE Clause 12 is an opportunity to build an inclusive and high-performing school system in India, and outlines an implementation protocol for the Clause.
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Understanding the relative effectiveness of government and private schools in India
Posted On: 22 Jan 2014

Topics:   Education

Data suggests a steady increase in the share of students attending private schools in rural India. This column analyses data from the largest and longest evaluation of a school choice programme in India, conducted over four years in the state of Andhra Pradesh, to assess whether private schools are indeed more effective than government schools.
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An evidence-based proposal to achieve universal quality primary education in India
Posted On: 25 Nov 2013

Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling

It is well established that learning levels in Indian primary schools are unacceptably low. This column proposes a strategy for achieving universal functional literacy and numeracy for all primary school children in India during the 12th Five-Year Plan that is fiscally sustainable, politically feasible, implementable at scale, and based on interventions proven to be effective by rigorous research on education in India.
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Using evidence for better policy: The case of primary education in India
Posted On: 18 Mar 2013

Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling

While India has achieved considerable success in increasing primary school enrolment and improving input-based measures of school quality over the past 10 years, learning outcomes continue to be abysmally low. This column synthesises over a decade of research on the challenge of converting increased spending into improved education outcomes and highlights key policy implications.
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