Having published numerous papers on topics relating to micro economics, Professor Maitreesh Ghatak is an exemplary Indian economist and academician. He taught at the department of Economics of University of Chicago before moving to the London School of Economics where he has taught since 2002.
Maitreesh Ghatak was born on February 7, 1968 and is an applied micro-economic theorist with research interests in economic development, public economics, and the economics of organisations. His main area of interest is economic development. His research studies are relating to the micro-foundations of market and non-market institutions that govern the allocation of resources in underdeveloped countries in the presence of missing and incomplete markets and transactions costs. Some of the specific topics of his current and past research are micro lending programmes, land reforms, the role of NGOs in providing public goods and the role of credit market imperfections in economic underdevelopment.
His research interests include micro finance, property rights, occupational choice, collective action, and the economics of NGOs and non-profits. He did his schooling from Patha Bhavan, Kolkata, and went on to do his undergraduate studies at Presidency College, Kolkata. He holds a M.A. in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and a Ph.D in Economics from the Harvard University under the supervision of Eric Maskin and Abhijeet Banerjee. He has held visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Yale University, Northwestern University and the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata. He is also a former managing editor of the Review of Economic Studies, the current editor-in-chief of the Journal of Development Economics, and a former co-editor of the Economics of Transition. He directs the research group Economic Organisation and Public Policy (EOPP) at the LSE.
He is the lead economist of the DFID – funded International Growth Centre’s India (Bihar) programme. He is a board member of the Bureau for Research in the Economic Analysis of Development also known as the BREAD. He writes occasional essays in various newspapers and magazines on economic and political issues, in English as well as in Bengali. Professor Maitreesh Ghatak is also a member of editorial board of Ideas for India from 2012 and is also a part of the International Growth Centre.
He is also a contributor to many newspapers and wrote on the Gujarat model of Modi during the elections of 2014. He, along with Sanchari Roy, a research associate at the Department of Economics, University of Warwick, UK in their article in the Guardian (dated March 13, 2014) have pointed out that the growth rate of Gujarat was impressive even before Modi, but when it comes to broader indicators of development, the performance of many other Indian states is better than that of Gujarat. The evidence for the success of Modinomics is not convincing, they said.
He has been awarded various accolades for his contribution in the field of academics such as being felicitated by the University of Chicago, Social Science Division Dean’s Research Grant in the year 2001-02. Professor Ghatak also received a ‘Mellon Cultural Training and Research Grant’ for field survey in West Bengal in 1999. The London School of Economics awarded him with a Post Doctoral Fellowship, STICERD in the summer of 1996. The reward list doesn’t end here. Professor also holds The Simon Kuznets Award (1993), given by the Harvard University and many more.