B.A., Bilkent University; M.A., M. Phil., Ph.D., Yale University
Assistant Professor of Economics
Applied micro-economist focusing primarily on the environmental challenges facing decision makers in developed and developing countries
A central theme of my research is the use of various geographical and historical settings, ranging from early twentieth century United States to contemporary India, to study the determinants and consequences of water access. The bulk of my research characterizes the response of economic agents to changes in water availability. I have chosen to focus my research agenda on several questions that are especially policy relevant. Foremost among these are: what is the value of groundwater access in agricultural production, and how does this differ under different climate scenarios? What role do socioeconomic status and ethnic identity play in determining access to water resources? Can well-designed policy interventions, such as gender or caste quotas, facilitate disadvantaged groups’ access to public water resources? Can the spread of water-borne diseases be mitigated by improving access to high-quality water sources, and what long-run impact would this have on child development and welfare?
At Wellesley, I teach a principles course in microeconomics (Econ 101), an introductory course in probability and statistics (Econ 103), and an elective course in environmental and resource economics (Econ 228). Econ 101 introduces students to the world of formal economic modeling of individual and business decision-making. In Econ 103 students learn how to describe statistical data and read scientific studies and popular press articles involving statistical results. The most attractive feature of this course is its hands-on nature. During lab hours, students have a chance to learn how to perform analysis of statistical relationships and to interpret their findings. Econ 228 provides an introduction into the principles of environmental economics, with a focus on policy applications. The main objective of this course is for students to gain an economic perspective on environmental issues that will bring them greater insights into the causes, consequences, and ultimately, the solutions of the current environmental problems.