TomorrowMakers

Click here to learn about the inspiring Indian female economists, their lives, and the reasons they are what they are today.

Indian women economists you should know

Economics is one of the most significant fields of study in human history. It analyses how individuals make financial decisions. However, a few issues within the subject need to be addressed to achieve tremendous success. The critical problem of gender disparity in economics is alarming. While many women consider it a field of study, it generally stops after college. But the gender disparity shouldn't diminish the value of women's work in economics. Over the years, India has produced several remarkable visionaries who have significantly contributed to the subject. Today, we find ourselves lucky enough to be paying tribute to these talented Indian women economists who have made their marks on the world stage.

Gita Gopinath

The first on the list is Gita Gopinath, one of the world's most well-known female economists. She was recently appointed as the first Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Previously, she served as the Chief Economist at the IMF from 2019 to 2022. Born in Kolkata in 1971, she received her bachelor's degree from the University of Delhi. Later, she earned her master's degree from the Delhi School of Economics. Before entering the IMF, she spent two decades as a Professor at the Economics Department of Harvard University (2005–2021) and an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (2001–05). Her economic research interests include exchange rates, trade and investment, international financial crises, monetary policy, debt, and developing market crises. She received numerous awards for her achievements, including the Financial Times' "25 most influential women of the year" in 2021.

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Jayati Ghosh

Jayati Ghosh is an internationally acclaimed development economist. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Delhi. Later, she earned her master's degree and MPhil's degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University. Then she went on to pursue her PhD at Cambridge University. Currently, she serves as the Chairperson of Jawaharlal Nehru University's Centre for Economic Studies and Planning in New Delhi. She has authored over 200 scientific publications, making significant contributions to economic studies. Her primary research interests include international economics; employment trends in developing nations; macroeconomic policy; and gender and development concerns.

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Bina Aggarwal

Bina Aggarwal is an Indian economist who specialises in development economics. Currently, she serves as a Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the University of Manchester's Global Development Institute. She has made significant contributions to problems of land, livelihoods, and property rights; the environment and development; gender politics and economics; poverty and inequality; legal reform; and agricultural and technological transition. Her work greatly influences world academics, politicians, non-governmental organisations, and governments.

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Devaki Jain

Devaki Jain is another notable woman economist and writer whose major works are based on feminist economics. She graduated with three gold medals from Mysore University in 1953. She holds a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from St. Anne's College, Oxford. She taught Economics at the University of Delhi until 1969. She is known for her well-known and ground-breaking work in the field of feminist economics. Her major study areas are equality, democratic decentralisation, people-centred development, and women's rights. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian honour, for her vast contributions to social justice and women's empowerment. She also established the Institute of Social Studies Trust in New Delhi.

Rohini Pande

Rohini Pande is an Indian economist who is currently working as the Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics and Director of the Economic Growth Center at Yale University. She is a Rhodes Scholar with a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics. She holds an MSc degree in Economics. She also worked as a Professor of International Political Economy and Public Policy at Harvard University. Her studies focus on the economic costs and advantages of the formal and informal sectors and how public policy might influence change. For example, she has investigated how institutions might be reformed to strengthen historically marginalised groups and how low-cost but well-planned renovations can aid environmental conservation.

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Notwithstanding the pervasive gender disparity, Indian women economists have made their mark on the world scene. These female economists remain an inspiration and source of encouragement for all young economists!