Karthik Muralidharan

Karthik Muralidharan is Tata Chancellor’s Endowed Chair in Economics at the University of California San Diego. He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a fellow of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), a board member and co-chair of the education program at the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), an affiliate at the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), and a research affiliate with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).

Muralidharan's primary research interests include development, public, and labor economics. Specific topics of interest include education, health, and social protection; measuring quality of public service delivery; program evaluation; and improving the effectiveness of public spending (with a focus on developing countries).

Born and raised in India, Muralidharan earned an AB in economics (summa cum laude) from Harvard University, an MPhil in economics from Cambridge University, and a PhD in economics from Harvard.

  • Development economics
  • Human capital
  • Education and health in developing countries
  • Program evaluation

Muralidharan, Karthik, and Paul Niehaus. Forthcoming. Experimentation at Scale. Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Muralidharan, Karthik, and Nishith Prakash. 2017. Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrolment for Girls in India. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 9 (3): 32150. DOI: 10.1257/app.20160004.

Muralidharan, KarthikJishnu Das, Alaka Holla, and Aakash Mohpal. 2017. The Fiscal Cost of Weak Governance: Evidence from Primary Education in IndiaJournal of Public Economics 145:116–35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2016.11.005.

Das, Jishnu, Alaka Holla, and Aakash Mohpal, and Karthik Muralidharan. 2016. Quality and Accountability in Healthcare Delivery: Audit-Study Evidence from Primary Care Providers in India. American Economic Review 106 (12): 376599. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20151138.
Muralidharan, Karthik, Jishnu Das, Alaka Holla, and Aakash Mohpal. 2016. The Fiscal Cost of Weak Governance: Evidence from Teacher Absence in India. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 7579. 
Muralidharan, KarthikPaul Niehaus, and Sandip Sukhtankar. 2016. Building State Capacity: Evidence from Biometric Smartcards in India. American Economic Review 106 (10): 28952929. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20141346.
Muralidharan, Karthik. 2016. A New Approach to Public-Sector Hiring in India for Improved Service Delivery. In India Policy Forum 2015-16, edited by Shekar Shah, Subir Gokarn, and Karthik Muralidharan. New Delhi: Sage. 
Muralidharan, Karthik, and Ketki Sheth. 2016. Bridging the Education Gender Gap in Developing Countries: The Role of Female Teachers. Journal of Human Resources 51 (2): 26997. 
Muralidharan, Karthik, and Venkatesh Sundararaman. 2015. The Aggregate Effect of School Choice: Evidence from a Two-stage Experiment in India. Quarterly Journal of Economics 130 (3): 1011–66. https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjv013.

Affiliated Researchers