Guest Lectures – Bangalore

A graduate of Presidency College, Kolkata, and JNU, Delhi, Prof. Mukherjee has completed his PhD at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies in Atlanta, USA. Prof. Mukherjee’s research interests are in the fields of development economics, behavioral and experimental economics and public policy. Besides his primary position at the Academy, he is also a Fellow at the University of Mumbai and an Affiliated faculty at the Centre for Experimental Social Sciences, Nuffield College (University of Oxford) – FLAME University.

Prof. Mukherjee has presented his work at the University of Chicago, George Mason University, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington D.C, Economic Science Association Meetings in Dallas, Western Economic Association International Conference in Tokyo and San Diego, Gender and Economics workshop in Glasgow, Scotland, Symposium on Economic Experiments in Developing Countries in Norwich, UK and Spanish Economic Association Meetings in Bilbao, among others.

Prof. Shagata conducted guest lectures in colleges at Bangalore which included Christ College, St Joseph College, BR Ambedkar College and Mount Carmel College in November 2019. He spoke about :

  1. “What drives gender difference in trust and trustworthiness”
  2. How to evaluate Public Policy 
  3.  “Are Women Really Better Borrowers in Microfinance?”

 

The Key Takeaways from his lectures are as follows:

1) “What drives gender difference in trust and trustworthiness”

In this talk, Prof. Mukherjee examines the following question: Are women wired intrinsically to be more trusting and trustworthy than men or is it the social context in which men and women operate that influence their social behavior?

Prof. Mukherjee addressed this question by presenting results from trust experiments that he had conducted with neighbouring matrilineal and patrilineal societies in India  He also discussed how risk attitudes of men and women influence the findings from his field experiments.

2) How to evaluate Public Policy?

In this lecture, Prof. Mukherjee spoke about what is policy evaluation? What are the core challenges of it and how those challenges can be overcome. He explained the fundamental difference between correlation and causation in public policy evaluation.  Finally, he described the various methods of conducting policy evaluation with special focus on the method of randomized control trials (RCTs). 

3) Are Women Really Better Borrowers in Microfinance?

The universal policy of gender targeting in microfinance stems from the conventional wisdom that women are better credit risks than men. In this talk, Prof. Mukherjee evaluated this conventional wisdom and discussed the underlying reasons for it.

Are women wired naturally and fundamentally different than men to be better at repaying loans or is it the social context in which men and women operate that motivate their behavior?

Prof. Mukherjee addressed this question by presenting results from microfinance field experiments that he had conducted in three states of India. He also discussed how the findings from his field experiments can be used to make policy recommendations.

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