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Vidya Bharathi Rajkumar

Vidya is a third year Ph.D. student in the field of Applied Economics and Management. Vidya’s research interests lie in the field of Development Economics and Public Policy. Prior to joining Cornell, Vidya worked with a team of economists headed by Dr. Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard University) on a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) in Chennai, India, aimed at understanding the impact of chronic physical pain on productivity and cognitive function. Vidya holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Madras School of Economics, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Chennai’s Stella Maris College, securing the #1 rank in both the programs. Her master’s thesis assessed the linkage between Political competition and Development Outcomes in Indian States, and she is currently working towards publishing it. She has briefly worked on a research project under the guidance of Dr. C. Rangarajan (Former Governor, Reserve Bank of India), studying the effectiveness of the Indian Government’s Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). As a summer intern at the Reserve Bank of India, Vidya studied the performance of government sponsored, lost cost credit opportunities for poor Indian farmers. Having worked in a neighborhood which houses some of India’s most underprivileged, Vidya strongly feels that her experiences have increased her drive to understand and study development issues better.