Sandip Sukhtankar - Research

Research Papers

  • General Equilibrium Effects of (Improving) Public Employment Programs: Experimental Evidence from India, with Karthik Muralidharan and Paul Niehaus (both UCSD), under review.
    [Working paper]

  • India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: What Do We Really Know about the World's Largest Workfare Program?
    Brookings-NCAER India Policy Forum, vol 13, pp 231-86, July 2017.
    [Final pre-publication version]

  • Replications in Development Economics
    American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, vol 107, no 5, pp 32-36, May 2017.
    [Published version] [Final pre-publication version]

  • Building State Capacity: Evidence from Biometric Smartcards in India, with Paul Niehaus and Karthik Muralidharan (both UCSD).
    American Economic Review, vol 106, no 10, pp 2895-2929, Oct 2016.
    [Published version] [NBER Working Paper w19999] [Final pre-publication version]

  • Does Firm Ownership Structure Matter? Evidence from Sugar Mills in India.
    Journal of Development Economics, vol 122, pp 46-62, Sep 2016.
    [Published version] [Final pre-publication version]

  • Corruption in India: Bridging Research Evidence and Policy Options, with Milan Vaishnav (CEIP).
    Brookings-NCAER India Policy Forum 2014, published Jul 2015.
    [Final pre-publication version]

  • The Impact of Corruption on Consumer Markets: Evidence from the Allocation of 2G Wireless Spectrum in India.
    Journal of Law and Economics, vol 58, no 1, pp 75-108, Feb 2015.
    A previous version circulated under the title "Much Ado About Nothing? Corruption in the Allocation of Wireless Spectrum in India."
    [Published version] [Final pre-publication version]

  • Corruption Dynamics: The Golden Goose Effect, with Paul Niehaus (UCSD).
    American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol 5, no 4, pp 230-69, Nov 2013.
    Awarded the 2014 American Economic Journal: Economic Policy best paper prize by the American Economic Association.
    [Published version] [Final pre-publication version] [Data]

  • The Marginal Rate of Corruption in Public Programs: Evidence from India, with Paul Niehaus (UCSD).
    Journal of Public Economics, vol 104, pp 52-64, Aug 2013.
    A previous version circulated under the title "Marginal Leakage and Public Programs."
    [Published version] [Final pre-publication version]

  • Sweetening the Deal? Political Connections and Sugar Mills in India
    American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, vol 4, no 3, pp 43-63, Jul 2012.
    [Published version] [Final pre-publication version] [Data] [Appendix]

  • Does Happiness Pay? An Exploration Based On Panel Data from Russia, with Carol Graham (Brookings) and Andrew Eggers (Oxford).
    Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, vol 55, no 3, pp 319-342, Nov 2004.

  • Does Economic Crisis Reduce Support for Markets and Democracy in Latin America? Some Evidence from Surveys of Public Opinion and Well Being, with Carol Graham (Brookings).
    Journal of Latin American Studies, vol 36, no 2, pp 349-377, May 2004.

Working Papers

  • In-kind Transfers as Insurance, with Lucie Gadenne (Warwick), Sam Norris (Northwestern), and Monica Singhal (UC Davis).
    Examines the role of price risk and the provision of in-kind transfers.

  • Electoral Competition and Political Rents: Evidence from India, with Matthew Pecenco (UC Berkeley).
    Examines how political outcomes are affected by an intervention that reduced corruption.


  • Biometric Authentication and the Delivery of In-Kind Social Programs, with Karthik Muralidharan and Paul Niehaus (both UCSD).
    Experiment that examines the impact of biometric authentication in India's PDS. Pre-Analysis Plan.

  • Policy Analysis by Revealed Preference: With an Application to Food Security, with Karthik Muralidharan and Paul Niehaus (both UCSD).
    Experiment that offers cash transfers in lieu of food rations in India's PDS.

  • Reforming Police Practices in India, with Gabrielle Kruks-Wisner (UVA) and Akshay Mangla (HBS).

Policy and Other Writing

  • Price Risk and Poverty, with Lucie Gadenne (Warwick), Sam Norris (Northwestern), and Monica Singhal (UC Davis).
    Ideas for India, May, 2017.
    [Ideas for India version]

  • What do We Know about Corruption in India?, with Milan Vaishnav (CEIP).
    Ideas for India, July, 2015.
    [Ideas for India version] [Mint version]

  • Building State Capacity for Better Programme Implementation: Lessons from the Andhra Pradesh Smartcard Programme, with Karthik Muralidharan and Paul Niehaus (both UCSD).
    Ideas for India, December, 2014.
    [Ideas for India version] [Mint version]

  • The Sweet Spot.
    Op-ed, The Indian Express, November, 2014.
    [Published version]

  • Because the Price was Right.
    Op-ed, The Indian Express, February, 2014.
    [Published version]

  • Two Questions about the 2G Scam.
    Ideas for India, March, 2013.
    [Published version]

  • Implementing a Biometric Payment System: The Andhra Pradesh Experience, with Piali Mukhopadhyay (GiveDirectly), Karthik Muralidharan (UCSD) and Paul Niehaus (UCSD).
    [Technical report, 2013]

  • Corruption in MGNREGA.
    Ideas for India, July, 2012.
    [Published version]

  • What Determines MGNREGA Wages? Some Evidence on Voice and Exit from Orissa.
    India in Transition, April 9, 2012.
    [Published version]

  • The Right to Choose your Food, with Karthik Muralidharan and Paul Niehaus (both UCSD).
    Op-ed, The Indian Express, August 2, 2011.
    [Published version] [Original version ]

  • Assessing the Scope for Cash Transfers in lieu of the TPDS in Rural and Urban Bihar, with Karthik Muralidharan and Paul Niehaus (both UCSD).
    [Policy report, 2011]

  • The Bigger They are, the Harder They Fall: The Cost of the Crisis in Corporate Governance, with Carol Graham and Robert Litan (both Brookings).
    Milken Institute Review, 5(1): First Quarter 2003, pp 37-45.