An Indian professor at Harvard, Dr Rohini Pande, has won the prestigious Carolyn Shaw Bell Award 2018. This honour is given annually to an individual who has furthered the status of women in the field of economics through example, achievements, increasing our understanding of how women can advance in the economics profession, or mentoring others. The American Economics Association announced the winner on Wednesday.

Pande is the Rafik Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University. She will receive the award at the annual CSWEP business meeting and award ceremony held during the 2019 meeting of the association at Atlanta, Georgia.

Pande, who is also co-directs the Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) program at Harvard, is the first Indian woman to ever receive this honour. She has also worked as an Assistant Professor of Economics at Columbia University and as an Assistant and Associate Professor of Economics at Yale University. Pande is also a visiting professor at Stanford, Pompeu Fabra, Berkeley, and MIT.

“Professor Pande provides an incredible example of what any person – male or female – can aspire to in the profession,” – American Economics Association

“Professor Pande provides an incredible example of what any person – male or female – can aspire to in the profession,” the statement said, quoting one of her supporters. Quoting another supporter, it said: “She has led not only through example and achievements, but in her earnest and unwavering mentoring of women in the profession.”

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Pande has worked on a range of topics, including rural banking and microfinance, governance, environmental regulation, son preference and housing in India.

In her interview with World Bank, she spoke about her work and said, “Starting with my PhD work on political reservations in India, it has fascinated me why and how of public policy in democracies and, in particular, how the political and social context shapes the choice of policy. I have also found that viewing problems of economic development through a political lens that engages with questions of power creates links across questions and topics that might before have seemed disparate.”

The American Economics Association, in its statement, lauded Pande for seeking gender parity in the economics field. “She ensures that the concerns women academics have, and the barriers they may face, are given serious attention,” something that Carolyn Shaw Bell Award stands firm for.

Picture credit- Youtube

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