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2015 Advanced Graduate Workshop on Poverty, Development, and Globalization

January 3, 2015

Azim Premji University   Bangalore, India

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We are pleased to conclude the 8th Annual Advanced Graduate Workshop (AGW) on Poverty, Development and Globalization. As in the past two years it is organized jointly by the Azim Premji University, the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) and Columbia University's Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD). This small interdisciplinary workshop was held  in Wipro Center at Bangalore, India from January 3-17, 2015. 

The goal of the workshop is to bring together graduate students in development studies at a sufficiently advanced stage of their dissertation work to be able to discuss and receive feedback on their research. There are two distinct parts: a series of lectures given by leading scholars and practitioners will deal with a range of economic, political and social issues pertaining to development and poverty Secondly, students will refine their research and presentation skills within assigned small groups under the guidance of faculty leaders in preparation for a culminating workshop-wide presentation of their research.


Through a competitive selection process, we welcomed 29 students from different disciplines including 4 brilliant small group advsiors (Hemanshu Kumar, Avanti Mukherjee, Enno Schröder and Ariel Swartz) and 18 world-reknown lecturers.  The AGW provided a unique opportunity for students to receive constructive advice and feedback on their dissertation presentations. Accepted candidates joined a distinguished rank of alumni and forge invaluable connections with top flight lecturers and peers, all committed to the study of the myriad issues confronting developing economies.

2014 AGW Speakers List

  • Ha-Joon Chang,  University of Cambridge - The State and Institutions in Economic Development
  • Sanjay Reddy, the New School
  • Rajiv Sethi, Columbia University - The Economics of Group Inequality
  • Akeel Bilgrami, Columbia University
  • Vamsi Vakulabharanam, University of Massachusetts Boston - Class and Inequality in Asia during the Twentieth Century
  • Indranil Dasgupta, University of Notthingham
  • Rohini Somanathan, Delhi School of Economics 
  • Jim Boyce, University of Massachusetts Boston - Distributional Considerations in Climate Policy
  • Julia Cage, Sciences Po Paris - The Future of the Media
  • Diane Elson, University of Essex - Inequality, Gender and Development
  • Robert Wade, London School of Economics - What's happening with Global Warming? Why are we holding society hostage to Luck?
  • Akbar Noman, Columbia University/IPD - Institution, Governance and Growth
  • Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University/IPD ( via Skype)
  • Martin Guzman, Columbia University - Distribution of Beliefs and Macroeconomic Instability
  • Suraj Jacob, Azim Premji University - Economics, Inter-Discriplinarity and Inference
  • Deepak Nayyar, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • C.P. Chandrasekhar, Jawaharlal Nehru University - National Development Bank in Comparative Perspective
  • Amit Basole, University of Massachusetts Boston - The Informal Economy from a Knowledge Perspective 

2015 AGW Students List

Alexander Kentikelenis is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University of Cambridge. He also holds a graduate degree in development studies from Cambridge, and an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Athens. His research focuses on the International Monetary Fund: what determines its policies, and what effects its lending programs have. For more information, please refer to his website: www.kentikelenis.net.

Ariel Schwartz ( small group leader)  is a Doctoral Candidate in Public Affairs at the University of Texas. This social research degree focuses on social policy evaluation, application of theory to policy, and understanding how real-world interventions can improve lives. My interdisciplinary research sits at the intersection of Development Studies, Information Studies, and Organizational Science, and my dissertation qualitatively examines how community level social sector organizations in developing countries can make good use of computing technology, especially in the context of foreign aid. During my dissertation data collection in 2013 I was based at the Technology for Emerging Markets Group at Microsoft Research, India, to study ten Indian health projects' deployment of a mobile application (a job aid and client monitoring tool) to groups of female community health workers. Previously, I was Research Development Specialist at the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP), and Program Manager at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, both at Columbia University. In 2008 I co-founded, and currently direct, Maria's Libraries, a US-based not-for-profit organization striving in Kenya for information access and social, political, economic, and cultural development through community libraries. I hold a BA in Government and an MPA from Cornell University.

Alia Aghajanian is an economist, interested in studying individual and household behaviour in conflict settings. Alia is an early stage research fellow with TAMNEAC – a Marie Curie initial training network funded by the European Commission, and a research officer and doctoral researcher at the Institute of Development Studies. Her PhD thesis determines the consequences of returning home after conflict induced displacement, specifically looking at social capital, labour market outcomes and household welfare. She collected a unique household data set amongst Palestinian refugees in Lebanon for this thesis. Alia has also worked on the Agency and Development Microcon project in Maharashtra India, looking at how communal riots have affected household welfare and behaviour. Alia is currently designing an impact evaluation assessing the impact of a joint training programme on bridging social capital between Iranians and Afghan refugees living in Iran. Alia has also had experience teaching Impact Evaluation, Introduction to Development Economics and Conflict Studies at the Institute of Development Studies. Her research interests include household behaviour, micro economics, poverty, and coping strategies. 

Dan Schwab is a Ph.D candidate at the economics deparment in Boston University

Debolina Biswas is a Ph.D candidate at University of Hyderabad, India. She has a B.A. in Economics from Jadavpur University and a M.A. in Economics from Center for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has also received her M.Phil from University of Hyderabad. Her current research focuses on explaining the Political Economy of transformation of sub-national economy through the lenses of growth and distribution. The area of study is West Bengal, an Indian state.

Elizabeth Rivera Gómez is a Ph.D. candidate in Social Policy at Brandeis University, United States. In her doctoral thesis she analyses: 1) income mobility patterns for the middle income groups in Chile, and 2) multidimensional poverty indexes and the capability approach. She is being supervised by Prof. Ricardo Godoy (Brandies University). She holds a MA in Public Policy from the University of Chile and MA in Social Policy from Brandeis University. She has researcher experienced in quantitative and qualitative methods of investigation in income and gender inequalities, multidimensional poverty, social indicators, households economics, social stratification, child rights, gender, fiscal policy and welfare economics. She is leading the National Observatory of Child Rights at the Chilean Government, where she focused on developing empirical data and indicators to address questions relating to child and youth living conditions from the human rights and capability approaches. Before she worked as a consultant at The Economic Commission of Latin American and Caribbean-United Nations. She is committed to conduct and enhance independent and creative research and socioeconomic strategies for adoption by policy makers and advocacy groups, in particular, in the field of socioeconomic inequalities, poverty, social justice, gender, and human and economic development for improving people’s well-being.

Enno Schröder (small group leader) is a PhD candidate in the economics department at the New School for Social Research and works as economist for the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). Before joining the Institute, he completed a master degree in economics at Humboldt-University Berlin, assisted in research projects on competition policy at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), and worked in the Environmental Policy Program of the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Beijing.

Germán Reyes is a PhD candidate in the economics department at the University of Plata, Argentina

Giulia Pagliani is a PhD. candidate in Economics and International Finance at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. She received Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Economics at Sapienza University of Rome. She was a visiting PhD student at Faculty of Social and Behavioral Science of the University of Amsterdam and at the Department of Philosophy at the VU University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Previously, she developed my Master's thesis at the Ifo Institute for Economic Research of Munich, Germany. Her research interests are Poverty, Inequality, Segregation, Political Philosophy, Microeconometrics, Economics of Immigration, Education Economics.
 Her PhD thesis aims to study the relation between the concept of equality in different ethical theories, in order to provide a new framework in which analyzing inequalities. 

Golvine de Rochambeau is a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at Columbia University in the City of New York. Her two fields of research are industrial organization and development economics. Lately, her research focuses on the diamond industry. She received her MSc from the Ecole Polytechnique (France) in Economics and Public Policy. 

Francesca Carta is a Ph.D candidate at the Deparment of Economics at Toulouse School of Economics, France. 

Hemanshu Kumar( small group leader) is a Ph. D. candidate at the Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. He holds Masters degrees in Economics from Northwestern University, IL as well as the Delhi School of Economics. His dissertation studies caste mobility and its interaction with the institutional environment created by the state using Census records, as well as primary data collected in Bihar, India.

Jigar Bhatt is a PhD candidate in Columbia University’s Urban Planning Program. His doctoral work focuses broadly on how economic knowledge constitutes a form of power and shapes our social and built environment. He has also conducted research on the political economy of basic service delivery, particularly water supply, in Southern Africa. He has a Master’s degree in urban planning, Bachelor’s in economics, and several years of consulting and professional experience in development and poverty reduction.

Laura Nussbaum-Barberena is a Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She completed her B.A. at Whitman College in Environmental Studies-Sociology with a minor in Latin American Studies and her M.A. at the University of Illinois at Chicago in Anthropology. Her research interests are in social movements, immigration, violence, gender, race and space with a regional focus on Central America. Her dissertation examines the organizing practices of Nicaraguan women migrants living in Costa Rica and their family members who remain in Nicaragua—who respond to the everyday experience of “democratic dispossession” produced by the articulation between gender-based violence and transnational economic restructuring.

Manasi Bera is a PhD candidate in Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She received her B.A. in Economics from North Bengal University, India and M.A. in Economics from Calcutta University, India. She also obtained MPhil in Development Studies with specialisation in Economics from Institute of Development Studies Kolkata, India. Her present research focuses on poverty, income mobility and employment in rural India in the contemporary global scenario particularly looking at migration and employment shift behaviour. 

Maria Gabriela Palacio Ludena is a PhD researcher at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She obtained her BSc in Economics from the Pontific University of Ecuador (PUCE) in 2008 and an MSc degree in Social Economy and Non-Profit Organizations Management at the Universitat de València in 2009. She also obtained a MA in Development Studies at the Institute of Social Studies in 2011, specializing in Poverty Studies and Policy Analysis. Her current research explores the recent changes in social protection in Ecuador as an ideal case to examine the challenges of providing welfare via cash transfers in a highly informalised context. For more information visit http://www.iss.nl/iss_faculty/phd_researchers/profiel_metis/1133081/.

Masahiko Haraguchi is a PhD student in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University. His research interests include climate risk assessment and mitigation, water resource management, economic analysis of natural disasters, and resilience of supply chains. He also studies urban planning as a National Science Foundation trainee and conducts research at the Earth Institute of Columbia University. Prior to entering his PhD program, Masahiko worked for the World Bank to design a training program on how cities should address climate mitigation and adaptation by utilizing climate finance. Before the World Bank, he also worked on a research project that investigated climate impact on cities in developing countries at the NASA Goddard Institute. He completed two graduate degrees, one in development economics from Institute of Developing Economies Advanced School under the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry of the Government of Japan, and one in climate policy from Columbia University as a World Bank Graduate Scholar. He is currently a Global Governance Futures 2025 Fellow. For more information, please refer to the website: https://sites.google.com/site/mharaguchi2905. 

Michael Koelle is a PhD student in the Department of Economics at the University of Oxford. His research interests are Economic Development, Labour Economics, and Applied Micro-econometrics. He can be reached at [email protected],ac.uk. His website is https://sites.google.com/site/michaelrkoelle/.

Ming Leong Kuan is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cambridge. His research interests include the role of the state in economic development, theories of economic growth and structural change, and industrial policy. Prior to the Ph.D. studies, he was a senior economist in the Singapore Government's Economist Service where his portfolio spanned economic policies relating to medium-term economic growth, industrial development, urban planning, demographics, and economic engagement strategies. He holds MSc and BSc in Economics degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Oyebanke Oyelaran-Oyeyinka holds a PhD in Urban Planning from Columbia University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she focused on the political economy of development planning. Her doctoral thesis explored how industrial clusters help to improve the living standards of workers within them, using the case study of an Information and Communications Technology cluster in Lagos, Nigeria. She holds a masters degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she specialized in International Development. Her masters thesis tried to explain the penalty of poor infrastructure in developing countries exemplified by the high cost and low quality of service observed in the telecommunications industry. For her bachelor’s, she majored in Economics at Carleton College. She is broadly interested in industrial clusters, industrial and social policies, the informal economy, and the dynamics of poverty and inequality in developing countries. She has worked as an intern with the United Nations, and participated in ETHsustainability’s Youth Encounter on Sustainability. 

Pritha Banerjee is a Ph.D. candidate in the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning in Jawaharlal Nehru University under Prof. Subrata Guha. She is writing her dissertation on household expenditure on education and gender discrimination in India-with special reference to West Bengal. 

Alfredo 'Riko' Rosete is a graduate student in Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His main areas of interest are Game Theory, Political Economy, and the Economics of Power. Currently, he is finishing his dissertation on the political economy of contract farming in developing economies. 

Rita Motzigkeit is a Ph.D. candidate in Development Economics at the University of Passau, Germany. She received her Bachelor and Master Degree from the University of Göttingen. Her research interests are shocks and coping strategies at the household level in rural areas in developing countries. Her present research focuses on the impact of price shocks to foodstuff on the household welfare of wage workers in agriculture. 

Saswata Guha Thakurata is doctoral candidate at the University of Hyderabad, India. He completed his bachelor degree in Economics from University of Calcutta, India. He received his Master’s degree in Economics from University of Hyderabad. His thesis tries to explain the sources of high growth in India and China. His larger research interest includes – migration, political economy of development, and environmental economics. 

Tamara McGavock  is a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University in the Department of Economics. Her fields of interest are development and labor economics. Her graduate committee is led by Francine Blau, a member of the Department of Economics and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell. Her website is https://sites.google.com/site/tmcgavock/home.

Varun Piplani is a PhD Candidate at George Washington University in the Department of Political Science. His dissertation research focuses on the impact of India’s democratic politics on privatization of the public sector in India. He has also conducted research on social accountability initiatives in India, and the broader political economy of development in South Asia. He has a Master’s degree in political science from George Washington University, and a Bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Beyond that, he has several years of professional experience in research on development. 

William Johnson  is an economics Ph.D. student at Boston University and a Growth Lab Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for International Development. He received his BA in mathematics and economics from Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on structural change, unbalanced growth, industrialization, diversification, and inter-sectorial technological spillovers. He can be reached via email at [email protected].

Zico Dasgupta is a Ph.D. candidate at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. His current research is on India’s GDP growth rate in the post-liberalization. He received his M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University on Centre-State relations in India.

Application Deadline: July 20, 2014

The application period for the workshop has expired. Applications were due by July 20, 2014.