Newcastle University Business School

Staff Profile

Dr Smriti Sharma

Lecturer in Economics


I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Economics at Newcastle University Business School since September 2018. I am also the PhD convener for the Economics group. I was previously a Research Fellow at United Nations University's World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) in Helsinki, Finland.

My fields of specialization are development economics, labour economics, and behavioural economics. Within these fields, I have three areas of interest: (i) skill and traits in the process of jobs and economic development; (ii) the political economy of development; and (iii) caste and gender-based disadvantage and discrimination. I use observational and experimental data in my research. My work focuses mainly on India and Vietnam. 

Full CV available here

Educational qualifications

Ph.D Economics, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, 2015

M.A. Economics, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, 2008

B.A. Economics, Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi, 2006

Prospective PhD students: I am happy to supervise students in my fields of interest. Please drop me an email if you are interested in being supervised by me. 


Working papers

Cognitive, Socioemotional, and Behavioral Returns to College Quality, IZA DP No. 10701 (with Utteeyo DasguptaSubha Mani Saurabh Singhal) (second revise & resubmit at The Review of Economics and Statistics) [download]

Corruption and Mental Health: Evidence from Vietnam (with Saurabh Singhal & Finn Tarp) (revise & resubmit at Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization)

Inequality, Corruption and Cooperation: Evidence from Vietnam (with Thomas MarkussenSaurabh Singhal & Finn Tarp)

Social Identity, Behavior and Personality: Evidence from India, UNU-WIDER Working Paper 60/2016 (with Utteeyo DasguptaSubha Mani Saurabh Singhal)[download latest version]

The Power to Choose: Gender Balance of Power and Intra-household Educational Spending in India, UNU-WIDER Working Paper 61/2016 (with Christophe J. Nordman) [download]

        In the media: Business Standard

Selected works-in-progress


Early-life Circumstances and Firm Performance (with Finn Tarp)

Cross-Country Perspectives on Ethnic and Racial Discrimination in Self-employment (invited for the Handbook of Economics of Discrimination and Affirmative Action)  


Other writing and interviews

Moving out of identity silos and into intersectionality: The example of gender identity. EADI Blog, 29 May 2019

Gods and Rupees, book review of The Economics of Religion in India by Sriya Iyer), Books and Ideas, 16 May 2019 

The Conspicuous Absence of Women in India's Labour Force
The Conversation UK, 15 May 2019 (republished in Business StandardIndependentThePrintand Asian Age)

An Interview on Lessons from UNU-WIDER's Gender, July 2018 (video)

Panel on Girls’ Education Research and Policy Symposium: Reaching the Most Marginalized at Brookings Institution, DC, 8 November 2017 (video)


Peer Influence and Human Capital Accumulation: Evidence from Delhi University Colleges, Ideas for India, 7 November 2017 (reprinted in WIDERAngle blog)


Educating India's Dalit Children Can Change the Discourse Around Caste, NewsDeeply, 6 September 2017


Achieving Gender Equality in India: What Works, and What doesn't, The Conversation Global, 8 November 2016 (republished in The Huffington Post)


An Interview on Gender Discrimination and Violence, Econ Films, September 2016 (video)


Entrepreneurship or Survival? Caste and Gender of Small Business in India, Ideas for India, 23 September 2013 (republished in Live Mint)


Media coverage of my research

Economics Digest, LiveMint, 10 February 2018

What Lies Behind the Spurt in Anti-Dalit Crimes in India?LiveMint, 10 January 2018

The Ugly Reality of Caste Violence and Discrimination in Urban IndiaThe Wire, 11 December 2017

The Many Shades of Caste Inequality in India, LiveMint, 18 October 2016

The Way Forward for Dalit Capitalism, LiveMint, 19 August 2016

How the Socioeconomic Fabric has Changed, Business Standard, 27 March 2016

The Quota Rush, Indian Express, 27 February 2016

As the Disadvantaged Rise, Those Above Push Back, Wall Street Journal India, 12 December 2012


Conferences, seminars, and policy panels (since 2015)


2020 (cancelled/postponed due to Covid-19): CSAE Conference, Oxford; University of Exeter (invited seminar); International Economics Association, Indonesia (invited session)

2019: University of Kent (invited seminar); University College Dublin (invited seminar); Royal Economic Society Women's Mentoring Retreat, Warwick; Development Economics and Policy Conference, DIW Berlin; Nordic Conference on Development Economics, Copenhagen; Workshop on Social Economy for Young Economists, Bologna; DIAL Development Conference, Paris; Workshop on Labour and Family Economics, University of York; University of Nottingham (invited seminar); University of Reading (invited seminar). 


2018: ASSA Annual Meeting, Philadelphia (invited discussant); Nordic Conference on Development Economics, Helsinki.


2017: Leuven Education Economics Research Workshop, Leuven; HECER Labour Seminar, Helsinki (invited seminar); Nordic Conference on Development Economics, Gothenburg; International Economics Association World Congress, Mexico City; 4th DIAL Conference, Paris; 4th SITES-IDEAs Development Conference, Rome; NEUDC 2017, Tufts; Girls’ Education Research and Policy Symposium at Brookings, Washington, DC (invited panelist); Queen’s University Belfast; Newcastle University Business School.


2016: ASREC Europe, Copenhagen; UNU-WIDER Conference on Human Capital and Growth, Helsinki; Nordic Conference on Development Economics, Oslo; Women in Economics (WinE) Mentoring Retreat, Geneva; UNU-WIDER Conference on Responding to Crises (chair & session organizer); The Choice Lab Seminar, NHH Bergen (invited seminar).


2015: UNU-WIDER 30th anniversary conference (invited discussant); 3rd DIAL Conference, Paris; Nordic Conference on Development Economics, Copenhagen; 10th IZA/WB Conference on Employment and Development, Bonn; Midwest International Economic Development Conference, Madison; Royal Economic Society Conference, Manchester.



Teaching Experience

Newcastle University Business School

2019-20: European Economics (UG), Applied Economics (UG), Development Economics (UG), Economic Analysis (UG), Dissertation supervision (PG)

2018-19: European Economics (UG), Applied Economics (UG), Dissertation supervision (PG)

Helsinki Centre for Economic Research (HECER)

2015-18: Guest Lecturer for Development Economics (PG) 

2015: Co-supervisor, MA thesis by Emmi Hentila, Aalto University

PhD Supervision Experience

Scott Kirkman (with John Wildman and James Law), 2016-ongoing, social mobility and risky behaviour

Nichola Williams (with Sara Maioli), 09/2018-ongoing, health and education in Guyana

Liangxun Xie (with Nils Braakmann), 10/2019-ongoing, public sector and inequality in China