People > Ashwini Deshpande


Ashwini Deshpande is Professor of Economics and the Founding Director of Centre for Economic Data and Analysis (CEDA) at Ashoka University. Her Ph.D. and early publications have been on the international debt crisis of the 1980s. Subsequently, she has been working on the economics of discrimination and affirmative action, with a focus on caste and gender in India. She is the author of "Grammar of Caste: economic discrimination in contemporary India", Oxford University Press, New Delhi,  2011 (Hardcover) and 2017 (Paperback); and "Affirmative Action in India', Oxford University Press, New Delhi, Oxford India Short Introductions series, 2013. She is the editor of "Boundaries of Clan and Color: Transnational Comparisons of Inter-Group Disparity" (along with William Darity, Jr.), Routledge, London, 2003; "Globalization and Development: A Handbook of New Perspectives", Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2007 (Hardcover) and 2010 (Paperback); "Capital Without Borders: Challenges to Development", Anthem Press, UK, 2010 (Hardcover) and 2012 (Paperback) and "Global Economic Crisis and the Developing World" (with Keith Nurse), Routledge, London, 2012.  She received the EXIM Bank award for outstanding dissertation (now called the IERA Award) in 1994, and the 2007 VKRV Rao Award for Indian economists under 45. 

Gender norms aren’t a monolith in India
02 Mar 2022

A new survey hints at shades of grey in ideas on gender roles. While darker shades, like the preference for sons, exist, we must take cues from the lighter shades to push for equality

Ashwini Deshpande on the need for Indian economists to grapple with discrimination
18 Sep 2021

The founding director of Ashoka University’s Centre for Economic Data & Analysis speaks about engaging with questions related to gender and caste in the field.

High Demand for MGNREGA is a Ringing Fire Alarm
17 Sep 2021

Rising demand for low paying labour work under MGNREGA points to a failure of economic policy as the Indian economy has failed to provide suitable jobs.

Dalit children more likely to be stunted, shows study
30 Jul 2021

NEW DELHI: That India has the highest number of stunted children in the world, (40.6 million children, as per NFHS data) represented

Covid’s impact, WFH has hit India’s women harder
02 Jul 2021

What does being a homemaker and a mother really mean for the vast majority of Indian women? In an essay in The Atlantic last year, Helen Lewis

As India gets vaccinated, women are falling behind. We must mind this gap
21 Jun 2021

The second wave of Covid-19 is finally slowing down after tearing through India with a ferocity that the country was tragically underprepared to handle.

COVID-19: Why Are Women Being Left Behind in the Vaccination Campaign?
08 Jun 2021

The numbers, from a health and economic perspective post the second wave of COVID-19, look quite grim.

COVID-19 Has Made the Rocky Road to Gender Equality Bumpier
03 Jun 2021

The coronavirus pandemic is not only making it harder to achieve gender equality in India, but also reversing gains made so far.


Areas of interest

International Economics, Economics of discrimination, Aspects of the Chinese economy


Current Positions

    • Professor of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi
    • Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi  (2013 to present)

Past Positions

    • Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick, UK, October 1 to December 6, 2014
    • Fellow, India-China Institute, New School, New York, 2008-2010.
    • Indo-Shastri Fellowship to visit University of British Columbia, May-June 2005


    • PhD, Economics, Delhi School of Economics (DSE), University of Delhi
    • MA, Economics, Delhi School of Economics (DSE), University of Delhi

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