Shiuli Vanaja

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Economics of Education
  • Health economics
  • Gender and nutrition
  • Drinking water and health
  • Time use pattern of women
  • Water and development
  • Behavioral patterns of women
  • Social norms and perceptions
  • Environment valuation


Shiuli Vanaja is an applied microeconomist by training, and her research interests lie in development economics, resource economics, and behavioral economics, with a special focus on gender issues. She has received her PhD in Economics from Cornell University and was a research scholar at Tata Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition from 2014 to 2020. In her PhD dissertation, she studied linkages between access to drinking water, women’s time use, and associated health costs in rural Jharkhand. She also explored the behavioral aspects of women’s decision-making in a rural framework in her thesis. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, travelling to new places, and photography. 



Working papers

  • Vanaja, S. Access to Piped Water, Time Savings, and Absenteeism in School: Evidence from India. 
  • Vanaja, S. & Pingali, P. Quality Perceptions, Availability of Sources, and Drinking Water Quality in Rural India.
  • Vanaja, S. Are People Making Correct Choices? Drivers of Water source Choices in Rural Jharkhand. 
  • Vanaja, S. & Pingali, P. Effect of In-house Piped Water on Women’s Time in Childcare, Agriculture, and Leisure.
  • Vanaja, S. & Pingali, P. Health Costs, Health Choices, and Water-borne Diseases in Rural Jharkhand, India. 

Work in progress

Vanaja, S. Can you identify the taste of your water? A Game to Illustrate the Role of Taste Preferences in Water Source Choices.

Vanaja, S. & Thottappilly, A., Climate Change, Rainfall, and School Outcomes in Rural India.” With Anna David Thottapilly.