Behind the Scenes of Economics Research
Catch us discussing the story behind research papers from the authors themselves. In this season we talk to 6 women researchers about their experience of research, from start to finish to discuss the narratives which are often left undiscussed. Stay tuned to know and learn more through the interesting conversations which will unfold in the coming weeks.
Logo : Soham Sen
BTS Production Team: Ria Dutta, Sakshi Hallan, Samhita Kuntia, Fizza Suhel, Prerna Kundu, & Ridhi Aggarwal
In an attempt to shed light on the experiences of female development researchers, Women in Econ and Policy brings to you a unique podcast series – Behind the Scenes of Economics Research. In every episode of this podcast, we pick a research study and go behind the scenes of its making through a conversation between a female Principal Investigator on the project and a research assistant or junior researcher. Through this dialogue, we dive into the research process of making notable papers and uncover the underlying gendered experiences.
Stay tuned; we’ll see you with a super exciting research paper in our next episode!
Study on faculty positions and authorship in academic journals
Study on women in academic seminars:
Notes: The statistics for faculty positions is at the Professor level in India. If Associate and Assistant Professor positions are accounted for, this figure stands at 28.5% in India.
Audio Clip Credits and Links:
1. Naila Kabeer
2. Rohini Pande
4. Jayati Ghosh
EPISODE 1 : Using Machine Learning & Qualitative Interviews
Our first guest speaker Dr. Monica Biradavolu, Founder and CEO of QualAnalytics and our host Ambika Chopra, Senior Research Associate at J-PAL South Asia to host an episode where they discuss an approach which combines mixed-methods data collection and machine learning.
The host and the speaker discuss the paper ‘Using machine learning and qualitative interviews to design a five-question women’s agency index’. Together they highlight the challenges, success, and some interesting behind-the-scenes of the paper. Dr. Monica shares her experiences and how her perception of ‘women’s agency’ evolved while working on the paper.
"What seems like the perfect example of agency to one woman might not be the same for another. It’s important to acknowledge such subjectivities and caveats in surveys when gathering pre-planned data."
Dr. Monica, on the basis of her field experiences, also talks about the scope of using ML in designing such short surveys. Tune in now for a riveting interview-cum-conversation!
Open access : here
Speaker Profile :
Monica Biradavolu is the CEO and Founder of QualAnalytics and is Scholar-in-Residence at American University. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Duke University. She advocates for mixed methods evaluations, integrating rigorous qualitative methods with quantitative surveys.
Ambika Chopra is a Senior Research Associate
at J-PAL South Asia on the Monitoring Public
and Private Hospital Participation in the
Health Insurance Project. Prior to that, she
was a Qualitative Consultant on a mix method
study Measuring Women’s Agency.
1. Prof. Vandana Madan - Universirty of Delhi
2. Prof. Shubha Shankaran - Universirty of Delhi
3. Kim Blankenship - American University
4. Mario Luis Small - Columbia University
1. Dangers of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (TEDtalk)
2. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (book)
3. Nanette by Hannah Gadsby (stand-up show)
Episode Art credit: istock photo
EPISODE 2 : Sex Workers, Stigma, and Self-Image: Evidence from Kolkata Brothels
Our guest speaker Anandi Mani walks the listeners through her paper - Sex Workers, Stigma, and Self-Image: Evidence from Kolkata Brothels along with our host Avantika Prabhakar, a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of Virginia.
The second episode focuses on the paper which studies the link between self-image and behavior among those who face stigma due to poverty and social exclusion. Anandi speaks of her experiences, collaborating with Dr. Smarajit Jana and Durbar; an organisation working for sex workers’ rights.
Using a randomized field experiment with sex workers in Kolkata (India), the paper examines whether a psychological intervention to mitigate the adverse effects of internalized stigma can induce behavior change. The study findings show significant improvements in participants' self-image, their savings choices, and health clinic visits. Anandi shares the potential of purely psychological interventions to improve the life choices and outcomes of marginalized groups.
Paper Discussed : Sex workers, Stigma and Self-Image: Evidence from Kolkata Brothels
Open access : here
Speaker Profile :
Anandi Mani is Professor of Behavioural Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. Her research interests are in the area of Development Economics, with a specific focus on issues related to the behavioural economics of poverty and social exclusion, gender issues and public good provision. She is a Research Affiliate at Ideas42, a think tank for behavioural economics at Harvard University, and a Fellow at the Centre for Comparative Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) at the University of Warwick.
Avantika Prabhakar is a PhD in Economics
candidate at University of Virginia.
Previously she was a Research Manager
at J-PAL South Asia.
2. Devaki Jain
3. Claudia Goldin - Harvard University
1. Still I Rise - Maya Angelou (poem)
2. Durbar - An Organization of Sex Workers Fighting for Rights & Dignity
Episode art credit: istock photo