Anirudh Krishna
Duke University
Anirudh Krishna is Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University. His research investigates how poor communities and individuals in developing countries cope with the structural and personal constraints that result in poverty and powerlessness. Recent research projects have examined poverty dynamics at the household level for 35,000 households in India, Kenya, Uganda, Peru, and North Carolina, USA (, examining both how people escaped poverty – and more important, how some came to be poor in the first place. A recent book, One Illness Away: How People Escape Poverty and Become Poor (Oxford University Press, 2010) presents these findings. Krishna is author or co-author of five other books and more than fifty journal articles and book chapters. He received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University, Sweden in 2011; the Olaf Palme Visiting Professorship from the Swedish Research Council in 2007; the Dudley Seers Memorial Prize in 2005; and the Best Article Award of the American Political Science Association, Comparative Democratization Section in 2002. Before returning to academia, Krishna spent 14 years with the Indian Administrative Service, managing diverse rural and urban development initiatives.

Articles By Anirudh Krishna
Rags to riches? Understanding social mobility in India
Posted On: 13 Nov 2017

To what extent is an individual’s status in society determined by the position of his or her parents? Analysing data from the Indian Human Development Survey, 2011-2012, this column finds that the probability of large intergenerational, occupational ascents in India is very low, and in fact, many face high risk of downward mobility.
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The root of poverty: Ruinous healthcare costs
Posted On: 26 Oct 2012

While natural disasters and political turmoil rightly grab our attention, this column shows that it is everyday events that drag most people into poverty. For many, the first of these is illness and this column argues that this is where the first battle lines against poverty must be drawn. People need more affordable, accessible, and higher quality healthcare.
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The resurgence of poverty
Posted On: 09 Sep 2012

Policymakers who aim only at lifting people out of poverty miss an essential fact: even as many people move out of poverty, many others fall back into it. This column argues that tackling poverty requires not only helping the existing poor, but also preventing the growth of future poverty.
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