Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
Assistant Professor

Vidhya is an applied microeconomist whose work primarily examines the impact of labour market institutions and regulations on employment, wages, and productivity in low-wage labour markets. Improving overall employment levels and worker welfare, and understanding and alleviating impediments to workplace productivity growth are running threads in her research. Another strand of Vidhya''s work examines the political economy of institutions and program implementation in developing countries. Her work employs both reduced-form and semi-structural econometric approaches focussing on causal estimations, and uses observational data at the firm or household level. Prior to her PhD, Vidhya worked at various policy organizations such as the World Bank, the International Food Policy Research Institute, and the Planning Commission of India, where her work centered on understanding agricultural value chains and evaluating rural development programs in India. Research Areas:

Development Economics, Labour Economics, Political Economy Working Papers:

Contract work and endogenous firm productivity in the Indian Manufacturing Sector Coverage: [Econthatmatters] [Economic Survey of India] Minimum wage effects at different enforcement levels: Evidence from employment surveys in India Political Clientelism and Political Activism: Evidence from an Indian Public Works Program (with Nancy Chau and Yanyan Liu) Wage Polarization and Contract Employment (with Nancy Chau and Arnab Basu) Fairness and Subcontracts (with Arnab Basu and Nancy Chau) What dimensions of women’s empowerment matter most for child nutrition: evidence using nationally representative data from Bangladesh. IFPRI Discussion paper 01192, June, 2012 (with Priya Bhagowalia, Purnima Menon, Agnes Quisumbing) Books:

Rodgers, Gerry and Soundararajan, Vidhya. 2016. Patterns of Inequality in the Indian Labour Market 1983-2012. Academic Foundation and Institute for Human Development. Policy Writings:

Soundararajan, Vidhya. 2013. “Construction workers: amending the laws for more safety”. Economic and Political Weekly. Vol - XLVIII No. 23, June 08, 2013. Grants:

2015-16: Exploratory Research Grant, Private Enterprise Development in Low Income countries (PEDL), an initiative by Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), (co-PI, with Nancy Chau) 2012: Exploratory Research Grant, the Tata-Cornell Initiative (PI) 2014-15: Research Grant, IFPRI-3ie (Team member, with significant contribution to proposal writing; with Nancy Chau and Yanyan Liu)

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