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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, a fellow of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development, 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, and a research affiliate with Innovations for Poverty Action.

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

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): 3765–99. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20151138.

de Ree, Joppe, Karthik Muralidharan, Menno Pradhan, and Halsey Rogers. 2018. "Double for Nothing? Experimental Evidence on an Unconditional Teacher Salary Increase in Indonesia." Quarterly Journal of Economics 133 (2): 993–1039.

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, 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.

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, Karthik, and Paul Niehaus. 2017. "Experimentation at Scale." Journal of Economic Perspectives 31 (4): 103–24.

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, 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, 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.