Rohini Pande, newly named as the Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics, is an economist whose research examines the economic costs and benefits of informal and formal institutions in the developing world and the role of public policy in effecting change.
Pande, who most recently served as the Rafik Hariri Professor of Political Economy at Harvard Kennedy School, rejoined the Yale faculty on July 1. She previously held teaching positions in the Department of Economics from 2003 to 2006. Concurrently with her new appointment, she will begin a three-year term as director of the Economic Growth Center.
Pande’s research examines how formal and informal institutions shape power relationships and patterns of economic and political advantage in society, particularly in the developing world, and the role of public policy in providing the poor and disadvantaged political and economic power.
In particular she is interested in how notions of economic and political justice, and of fundamental human rights, can help justify and enable such change. Her current work is focused on testing innovative ways to make the developing state more accountable to its citizens, such as by strengthening women’s economic and political opportunities, ensuring that environmental regulations work as intended, and providing citizens effective means to register their demand for state services. At Yale, she will develop a research agenda that works to understand how the benefits of growth can be equitably shared, and how to ensure that the environmental costs of growth, and the costs of actions to mitigate those environmental costs, do not fall disproportionately on the poor and disadvantaged.
Pande’s professional activities include having founded Evidence for Policy Design at Harvard, and serving as a board member of the Bureau of Research on Economic Development, co-chair of the Political Economy and Government Group at Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her work has been published widely in economics and policy journals. In 2018, she received the Carolyn Bell Shaw Award from the American Economic Association for promoting the success of women in the economics profession.
Pande earned her undergraduate degree from Delhi University, her M.A. from Oxford University, and her Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.