Chinmaya Kumar

Ph.D. Student
Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago
chinmayak (at) uchicago.edu


I am a Ph.D. student at University of Chicago. My research falls under two broad themes. First, I study how individuals’ social identity shapes their decisions in a variety of settings such as labor markets, bureaucracy, and elected bodies. In particular, I attempt to empirically document discrimination against disadvantaged groups and uncover underlying motivations behind it. The second theme of my research is related to understanding the roots of low citizen participation and poor quality of public services delivery in weak institutional settings. More specifically, I examine how institutions such as the grievance redressal system can be used to encourage greater citizen participation and a more responsive state. My research projects have been funded by several organizations including NSF, J-PAL, BFI, Weiss Fund, IGC, and Azim Premji University.

Primary fields: Development economics, Behavioral economics

Secondary fields: Labor economics, Political economy

Working Papers

Sharan, M. R., and Chinmaya Kumar. “Something to Complain About: How Minority Representatives Overcome Ethnic Barriers.” Working Paper, 2019.

Kumar, Chinmaya, and Sharan, M. R.. “The Distributional Consequences of Political Reservation.” Working Paper, 2018.

Work in Progress

“Distaste for Minority Bosses: Discrimination from Below and its Economic Consequences in India”

“Persistent Prejudice: De-Biasing and the Demand for News”, with Christopher Blattman, Leonardo Bursztyn, Kailash Rajah.

“Lending a Hand: Social Identity and performance of Economic Enterprises in Rural India”, with M. R. Sharan

“Privately Rich, Publicly Poor: Discrimination in Public Goods Provision in Rural India”, with M. R. Sharan

Work With Me

Research Associate For Current Field Experiments in Bihar: Job Description

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