Tamoghna Halder

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Economic History
  • Labour Economics
  • Economic History of Identities
  • Economics of Discrimination


Following my MStat (Masters in Statistics) from Indian Statistical Institute, I went on to pursue my PhD in Economics from the University of California, Davis. As an applied economist, I seek to investigate how historical institutions, whether formal or informal, have persistent, long-run effect on inequality, human capital accumulation, growth, development, and diversity. For example, in one of the chapters of my doctoral research I use archived graduation records of students from elite universities to trace group-level social mobility in India for different caste and religious groups over the last 150 years. In fact, I find it fascinating to extract and analyse economic information from historical texts – whether these are pieces of ancient literature or boring records maintained by bureaucrats/​institutions. Therefore, fellow economists often classify me as an Economic Historian, however, my research spans several other fields such as Labour, Development and Political Economy as well. 

I love to teach as much and have taught several courses in Economics to both undergraduate and graduate students including a unique course, How to Teach Economics” to PhD students at University of California, Davis. At Azim Premji University, I am currently teaching two courses: Intermediate Microeconomics (UG) and Economics of Identity (PG).

I am also a regular contributor of op-ed articles at Al Jazeera. At different turns of life, I wanted to be a poet, a theatre practitioner, or a filmmaker, but failed so bad, that I decided to become an Economist instead. Nevertheless, poetry, films and theatre continue to be my breathing space till date.


Journal Articles:

  • T. Halder, K. Sharma, S. Ghosh and R. Verbrugge. (2015). How do adults reason about their opponent? Typologies of players in a turn-taking game. In D. Noelle et al (Ed), Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2015), 854 — 859. (PDF)

  • S. Ghosh, T. Halder, K. Sharma and R. Verbrugge. (2015). Human strategic reasoning in dynamic games: Experiments, logics, cognitive models. In W. van der Hoek et al (eds), Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Logic, Rationality and Interaction (LORI 2015), 116 — 128. (PDF)

Newspaper Articles:

In recent past, I have contributed articles for Al Jazeera. For the list of articles, follow my author profile.

Work in progress:

  • Caste, Reservation and Social Mobility in India: 18562017 (aka Job Market Paper) 

  • Gender-gap among Elite Graduates: A Social Mobility Perspective 

  • Residential Segregation in Bengal: It is what it was (1870 – 2020)