Arnab Basu

Arnab Basu

  • Professor

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Interdisciplinary Theme

Faculty Expertise

  • Economics
  • International and Development Economics and Policy
  • Behavioral Research
  • Emerging Markets


Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management


Cornell Directory Entry


Arnab K. Basu is an economist and professor at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. His primary research interests are within the area of labor markets in developing countries, the economics of eco- and social labeling, and designing lab-in-the-field experiments to elicit behavioral preferences.

Within labor markets, Basu's research spans topics on the informal sector, minimum wage and enforcement, labor contracts, employment guarantee schemes, child labor, human trafficking, and migration driven by climate and social networks. Within behavioral economics, his research involves both designing experiments as well as the use of secondary data to analyze altruism, intra-household bargaining power, human capital investments, and response to disasters in various countries (Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, and Vietnam). Basu is also involved in several projects that are India-specific, such as the link between indoor air pollution and child mortality, differential health (hypertension and clinical depression) reporting error amongst older adults, the effect of Kerala's partial alcohol ban on intimate partner violence, and dishonest behavior in individual and group settings.

Basu is a research fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics in Bonn, Germany, a fellow of the Global Labor Organization, and a recent visiting scholar at the World institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, Finland, and visiting professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Oxford, UK. He was awarded a research fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, and is a recipient of the Theodore W. Schultz Young Economist Prize awarded by the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE). He is an associate editor for the Journal of Economic Policy Reform and an academic editor for the Public Library of Science journal, PLoS ONE.

Basu holds a PhD in economics from the Johns Hopkins University, and an MA in economics from the Delhi School of Economics, India.

Selected Publications

Awards and Honors

  • Research Award (2007) Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • TransCoop Grant (2011) Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence (2013) College of William and Mary

Recent Courses

  • AEM 2300/ECON 2300 - International Trade and Finance
  • AEM 1300 - Introduction to Macroeconomic Theory and Policy
  • AEM 6991 - MPS Research Seminar I

Academic Degrees

  • PhD Johns Hopkins University, 1997
  • MA Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, 1990
  • BS St. Xavier's College, University of Calcutta, 1988