+91 (22) 2576‐7757
211, SJMSOM Building, IIT Bombay

Sarthak Gaurav

Associate Professor, Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM)


Sarthak is an Associate Professor in Economics area. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of development economics, applied econometrics, insurance markets, behavioural economics, and entrepreneurship.  He has published research articles in journals such as Journal of Marketing Research, World Development, Oxford Development Studies, and Economic and Political Weekly. Prior to joining SJMSOM, he worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Asia Research Centre of London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi in the well-known ‘Palanpur Study’. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) and was a Visiting Doctoral Scholar at Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania in 2011.

He was also a Young Scientist at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria in 2010. He has won two ILO Research Grants, a USAID Visiting Doctoral Fellowship, and was selected by the Reserve Bank of India for participation in the 4th Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Economic Sciences. Prior to joining IGIDR for his Ph.D., he worked as a Development Consultant at the Centre for Insurance and Risk Management at IFMR, Chennai.

Research Areas

Topic A: Experts, Expertise, and Policy
Both PhD/MPP

Research Area: Markets and Governance Processes

Description: Policies and policymaking depend on experts as well as their expertise in myriad forms, and at different stages. As we grapple with uncertainty in policies ranging from the New Farm Laws to management of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need for examination of the following questions. What is the knowledge regime in Indian policy making? Who is an expert? What is the role of experts in policy making? How is expertise legitimised and delegitimised in the policy making process? How is expertise signalled? Can the expert and expertise be separated? How does knowledge weigh on the policy making process (historical as well as contemporary)? Can we develop appropriate and accountable ‘expert consultation’ criteria/mechanisms given specific policy questions?

Topic B: Uncertainty and Policymaking
Both PhD/MPP

Research Area: Markets and Governance Processes

Description: Uncertainty is central to policy problems as well as policy making. However, policy makers and policy making often rely on knowledge based on models and frameworks that neither incorporate nor acknowledge uncertainty. What is the nature of uncertainty in policy making? How is uncertainty perceived and valued by policy makers vis-a-vis experts (e.g. scientists, experts, advisors)? Can a comprehensive typology of uncertainty in policy making be developed? How can uncertainty be effectively communicated to policy makers? Can we design frameworks to draw causal inference about addressing uncertainty in policy making?

Academic Background

  • Visiting Doctoral Scholar, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (2011)
  • PhD Economics, IGIDR, Mumbai (2008-2012)
  • MSc Economics, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Mumbai, India (2005-2007)
  • B.A. Economics (Hons.), BJB College, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India (2002-2005)
  • Publications

    Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Gaurav, S. (2023) Augmenting Agrarian Livelihoods in the Time of Crisis: A Baseline for KALIA. Economic and Political Weekly, 58(25-26), pp.13-21.
  • Dalal R., Fancy M.K, Chaudhary S., Abraham M., Vir S.C, and Gaurav S (2023) Establishment of cross-cradle hold technique combined with intensive breastfeeding counselling positively impacts the weight gain rate in early infancy. Maternal & Child Nutrition Oct;19(4): e13529. doi: 10.1111/mcn.13529
  • Balani K, Gaurav S, and A. Jana (2022) Spending to grow or growing to spend? Relationship between public health expenditure and income of Indian states. SSM Population Health 15;21:101310. doi: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2022.101310
  • Sheikh, R.A., Gaurav, S., and T. Mishra (2023) Caught in a time warp: evidence from time use of Indian women. International Journal of Social Economics. February 2023. doi: 10.1108/IJSE-03-2022-0164
  • Berman. P, Cameron, M.A., Gaurav, S., Gotsadze, G., Hasan, M.Z., Jenei, K., Keidar, S., Kornreich, Y., Lovato, C., Patrick, D.M., Sarker, S., Sosa-Villagarcia, P., Sriram, V. and C. Ruck. (2023) Improving the response to future pandemics requires an improved understanding of the role played by institutions, politics, organization, and governance. PLOS Global Public Health. January 20, 2023 doi: 10.1371/journal.pgph.0001501
  • Sengupta, N., Gaurav, S., & Evans, J. (2021) The Skills Space in Informal Work: Insights from Bangalore Slums. Journal of Development Studies, 57(10), pp.1662-1689.
  • Sheikh, R., Gaurav, S., & Mishra, T. (2021) Race among equals? An inquiry into the segmentation of Indian labor market. Review of Development Economics, 32(4), pp.1105-1127.
  • Gaurav, S. (2021). Dynamic Inconsistency and Incentive Design: Insights from Behavioural Economics for HR Managers. NHRD Network Journal, 14(2), pp.193–205.
  • Chhimwal, B., Bapat, V., & Gaurav, S. (2021). Investors’ Preferences and the Factors Affecting Investment in the Indian Stock Market: An Industry View. Managerial Finance, 47(5), pp.723-744.
  • 2020 Gaurav, S. & Sheikh, R.A. The Road Not Taken: Who Works as a Doctor or Engineer in India? Journal of Education and Work, 33(3), pp.254-270.
  • 2020 Sheikh, R.A. & Gaurav, S. Informal Work in India: A Tale of Two Definitions. European Journal of Development Research, 32(4), pp.1105-1127.
  • 2020 Gaurav, S. & Chaudhary, V. Do Farmers Care About Basis Risk? Evidence from a Field Experiment in India. Climate Risk Management, 27(2020).
  • 2019 Gaurav, S. & Sheikh, R.A. The Real Chowkidars of India: Lives Behind the Metaphor. Economic and Political Weekly, 54(47), pp.15-17.
  • 2019 Ranganathan, T. & Gaurav, S. The Curious Case of Cocktails, Weedicides, and Tonics Pest Management Practices of Cotton Farmers in Vidarbha. Economic and Political Weekly, 54(44), pp.51-54.
  • 2019 Gaurav, S. Policies Need a Cautious Nudge. Economic and Political Weekly, 54(39), pp.13-16.
  • 2019 “The Market for Cryptocurrencies: An Ode to Hayek”, Economic and Political Weekly, 54(2), pp.12‐15.
  • 2018 “Pesticide usage by Cotton Farmers: Changes over a Decade”, Economic and Political Weekly, 53(19), pp.43‐51 (with Thiagu Ranganathan and Imdadul Halder).
  • 2018 ‘Anomaly in Decision Making under Risk: Violation of Stochastic Dominance among Farmers in Gujarat, India’, IIMB Management Review, 30(3), pp.258‐269 (with Thiagu Ranganathan and Ashish Singh).
  • 2017 ‘How Efficient are India’s Cooperative Banks? Evidence from DCCBs’, Economic and Political Weekly, 52(12), pp.115‐124 (with Jisha Krishnan). Reprinted in Indian Cooperative Review, National Cooperative Union of India (2018)
  • 2016 ‘Demand for Price Insurance among Farmers in India: A Choice Experiment‐Based Approach’, Margin: The Journal of Applied Economic Research, 10:2, pp. 198‐224 (with Thiagu Ranganathan and Ashish Singh).
  • 2015 ‘Are Rainfed Agricultural Households Insured? Evidence from Panel Data in Village Vidarbha, India’, World Development, 66, pp. 719‐736.
  • 2015 ‘Farm Size and Returns to Cultivation in India: Revisiting and Old Debate’, Oxford Development Studies, 43(2), pp.165‐193. (with Srijit Mishra).
  • 2014 ‘Household Headship and Academic Skills of Indian Children: A Special Focus on Gender Disparities’, European Journal of Population, 29(4), pp. 445‐466 (with Ashish Singh and Upasak Das).
  • 2014 ‘Cash Holdings and Finance Constraints in Indian Manufacturing Firms’, Research in Applied Economics, 6(3), pp.56‐75 (with Vikash Gautam and Ashish Singh).
  • 2013 ‘An Inquiry into the Composition of Farm Revenue Risk: The Case of Six Western Vidarbha Districts’, Economic and Political Weekly, 48(26:27), pp. 125‐128 (with Thiagu Ranganathan).
  • 2012 ‘An Inquiry into the Financial Literacy and Cognitive Ability of Farmers: Evidence from Rural India’, Oxford Development Studies, 40 (3), pp. 358‐380 (with Ashish Singh; Winner of the Sanjay Lall Student Prize 2011‐12).
  • 2011 ‘Marketing Complex Financial Products in Emerging Markets: Evidence from Rainfall Insurance in India’, Journal of Marketing Research, 48(S), pp.150‐162 (with Shawn Cole and Jeremy Tobacman)
  • Book Chapters

  • Gaurav, S., and Ranganathan, T. (2022) Accidental Gamblers: Risk and Vulnerability in Vidarbha Cotton. Cambridge University Press https://books.google.co.in/books/about/Risk_and_Vulnerability_in_Vidarbha_Cotto.html?id=3cDHzgEACAAJ&redir_esc=y
  • 2018 ‘Changing Activities, Changing Markets: Agriculture’ (with Himanshu), in Himanshu, Peter Lanjouw and Nicholas Stern, How Lives Change: Palanpur, India, and Development Economics, Publisher: London: Oxford University Press, pp.161‐195.
  • 2016 ‘Land Ownership and Tenancy in Odisha’, in: Prasanta Pattanaik, Santosh Panda and Pulin Nayak (eds.) The Economy of Odisha: A Profile. New Delhi: Oxford University Press (with Srijit Mishra), pp.54‐86.
  • 2014 ‘To Bt or Not to Bt: Risk and Uncertainty Considerations in Technology Assessment’,
    in: N.Lalitha and P.K.Viswanathan (eds.), India’s Tryst With Bt Cotton, Concept: New Delhi.
  • Book Reviews

  • 2009 ‘Crisis in Indian Agriculture’. Review of Agrarian Crisis in India, Reddy, .N. and S.Mishra (eds.), Indian Journal of Labour Economics, 52(1), pp.180‐84.
  • Policy Research

  • 2016 ‘Agricultural Development of Khagaria and Saharsa district in Bihar’, with Ambrish Dongre (A study for PRADAN)
  • 2013 ‘Evaluation of India’s Pilot Crop Insurance Schemes’, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India (Agricultural Finance Corporation of India, 2013).
  • 2012 ‘Evaluation of Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme in India (WBCIS)’, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India (Agricultural Finance Corporation of India, 2012).
  • 2012 ‘Do Caste and Social Interactions Affect Risk Attitudes and Adoption of Innovations? Evidence from Rainfall Insurance Adoption in Gujarat, India’, ILO Microinsurance Innovation Facility Research Paper, 25(2012) (with Ashish Singh and Thiagu Ranganathan)
  • 2010 ‘A Randomized Evaluation of the Impact of Financial Literacy on Rainfall Insurance Take‐up in Gujarat’, ILO Microinsurance Innovation Facility Research Paper, 1(2010) (with Shawn Cole and Jeremy Tobacman)
  • 2010 ‘Marketing Complex Financial. Products in Emerging Markets: Evidence from Rainfall Insurance in India’, BASIS‐AMA Paper, 2010 (with Shawn Cole and Jeremy Tobacman).
  • 2008 ‘Bihar‘s Agriculture Development‐ Opportunities and Challenges’, Special Task Force on Bihar, Planning Commission, Government of India, 2008 (Chapter 9: Integrated Agricultural Risk Management). ‘Managing Risk: Agriculture and Natural Disaster’, Special Task Force on Bihar, Planning Commission, Government of India, 2008 (Chapter 10:B Developmental Strategies, Policies and Instrumental Directions).
  • Conferences and Invited Talks

  • Organizing Secretary, Workshop on ‘Frontiers in Management Science’, with Monash University, IIT Bombay, January 2019
  • Invited Speaker, ‘National Seminar on Agriculture’ at Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, February 2019
  • Invited Speaker, ‘9th Annual Conference, Skills Training for Advancement in Rural Societies Forum’, Wardha, December 2018
  • Invited Speaker, ‘Economic Costs of Climate Change in Rural India’, Madras School of Economics, July 12‐13, 2018
  • Invited Seminar, ‘Basis Risk in Weather Insurance’, Monash University, March 2018
  • Invited Talk, ‘Incomplete Information Games’, NMIMS, Mumbai, 2018
  • Invited Talk, ‘Growth and Development through the lens of Village Studies’, NMIMS, 2018
  • Research Methodology at Sarla Anil Modi School of Economics, NMIMS, Mumbai (2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Research Methodology Sessions at IGIDR, Mumbai (2016)
  • Pre‐ 2016:

  • Demand for Price Insurance Products among Farmers, 9th Annual Conference on Economic Growth and Development, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi (December 2013).
  • Size‐Class and Returns to Cultivation in India, AIEFS Biennial Meeting, Mumbai (August 2013).
  • Ten Years of Bt Cotton in India, New Delhi (June 2012).
  • Research Training Seminar,Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (February 2012).
  • Population Association of America 2012 Annual Meeting, San Francisco (May 2012).
  • Financial Literacy and Rainfall Insurance, CRED, Columbia University (2011).
  • Agrarian Crisis and Food Security, National Seminar on Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Banking, Pune (2010).
  • Barriers to Adoption of Rainfall Insurance in Gujarat, State‐level Consultation Meet on Weather Insurance, Mahatma Gandhi Labour Research Institute (MGLRI), Ahmedabad (2010).
  • Making Rainfall Insurance Work for Rainfed Agriculture: Lessons from a Field Experiment, National Symposium on Climate Change and Rainfed Agriculture, Central Research Institute for Rainfed Agriculture (CRIDA), Hyderabad (2010).
  • Risk Mitigation in Agriculture and Current Strategies, USAID‐CMF Seminar on Risk Mitigation in Agriculture, Ahmedabad (2009).
  • Innovating at the BoP: Delivering Microinsurance in Kalahandi, and Beyond (with Luis F. Ballesteros and Ana Paola Gomez), 10th Annual Conference on Money and Finance in the Indian Economy at IGIDR, Mumbai (2008).
  • New Lenses for Viewing Financial Inclusion: Proximate and Solitary Exclusion, IFMR, Chennai (2008).
  • Round Table on Microinsurance Development in India, IAIS‐CGAP, Hyderabad (2007).
  • Expert Advisory Meet of Forward Markets Commission of India, Mumbai (2007).
  • Policy Advocacy Meet of the Consultative Group on Disaster Management, UNDP and MIDS, Chennai (2007).
  • Courses Taught

  • Economics
  • Game Theory
  • Behavioural Economics
  • Honours and Awards

  • Dudley Seers Prize for Best Article in the Journal of Development Studies in 2021 (with Nandana Sengupta and James Evans) (2022)
  • Departmental Award for Excellence in Teaching (2021)
  • Sanjay Lal Award for Best Student Paper in Oxford Development Studies (with Prof. Ashish Singh) (2011)
  • Best Undergraduate in the Arts Stream and Best Undergraduate in Economics Trophy, BJB College, Bhubaneswar (2005)
  • Gold Medal in Undergraduate Economics (Hons.), BJB College, Bhubaneswar (2005)
  • Gold Medal in Political Science, BJB College, Bhubaneswar (2005)
  • Best Undergraduate in Statistics, BJB College, Bhubaneswar (2005)
  • Gold Medal, 6th National Children’s Science Congress; Team Leader for 86th Indian Science Congress (1998‐99), Chennai
  • CBSE Merit Certificate for securing 100 in Science (2000)
  • Positions Held

  • May 2023 – Associate Professor, Economics Area, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay
  • Sep 2015 – Assistant Professor, Economics Area, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay
  • Sep 2014 – Aug 2015 : Research Associate, Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi
  • Mar 2013 – Sep 2014 : Postdoctoral Researcher, Asia Research Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London
  • Nov 2012 – Mar 2013 : Research Assistant, Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi
  • 2007–2008 : Development Consultant, Centre for Insurance and Risk Management (CIRM), IFMR, Chennai
  • 2006: Research Intern, UNDP Project on Strengthening State Plans for Human Development, Mumbai.
  • Fellowships:

  • 2011 USAID Visiting Doctoral Scholar, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2011 Reserve Bank of India Fellowship for 4th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings (Economic Sciences), Lindau, Germany, 2011
  • 2010 Young Scientist Summer Programme (YSSP) Fellow, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria
  • 2008–2012 Doctoral Fellowship, IGIDR, Mumbai
  • Founding Member, Behavioural Lab, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay (2019)
  • Member, Strategy Committee, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay (2018)
  • Member, Committee for Restructuring MMgt Programme at SJMSOM, IIT Bombay (2017)
  • Convener, Faculty Search Committee, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay (2016)
  • Convener, Doctoral Consortium, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay (2016)
  • Faculty Coordinator, E‐Club, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay (2016)
  • Member, Sub‐Committee for UG/PG Economics, Symbiosis International University, Pune (2017)