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Prof. Vegard Iversen


Educational Qualifications

PhD in (Development) Economics, University of Cambridge (2000).

MA in Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (1991).

BA in Economics and Business Administration, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (1988).

Academic Affiliation

Professor, Economics Area, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (June 2017-).

Senior Research Fellow (Honorary), Global Development Institute (former IDPM), University of Manchester (2008-).

Adjunct Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University (2015-2017).

Professor and Vice-Dean (Research and International Collaboration), Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (2012-2013).

Visiting Faculty, Economics and Planning Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi (2007-2011).

Research Fellow, Social safety nets and labour markets, International Food Policy Research Institute, New Delhi (2006-2007).

Assistant Professor and Co-Director of MA in Development Economics, School of Development Studies (now International Development), University of East Anglia (2000-2006).

Professional Affiliation

Editor in Chief, Journal of South Asian Development (2012-).

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Development Studies (2016-).

Member, American Economic Association.

Member, The Replication Network -



At School of Development Studies (now International Development) at University of East Anglia (2000-06), I taught and supervised undergraduate, MA and (eight) Phd-students. Courses included microeconomics and microeconometrics for development, environmental economics, agriculture and rural development and field and general research methods for MA and Phd students. While at Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi (2007-11), I gave courses in labour economics (with a South Asia entry point) and industrial organization. At Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (2012-13), teaching covered poverty and inequality, microeconometrics and an impact evaluation course tailored for public policy students. For the Duke semester in India, where Duke undergraduates split their Fall term between Udaipur and Bangalore, I taught a poverty and development in India course. Teaching here at IIM A will include e.g. microeconomic theory for FPM (Phd) students, development economics for PGP students and impact evaluation for FPM students.   



Area of Research

Applied microeconomics of development (mainly in India) using primary (often mixed-methods) and/or large secondary data-sets;

Research topics: labour markets and social networks; migration; identity and discrimination; gender; social mobility; education and learning outcome measurement; economic history; impact evaluation; research methods; behavioural economics

Current research projects

WOMEN IN POLITICS (with Ananish Chaudhuri, University of Auckland, Francesca Jensenius, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs & Pushkar Maitra, Monash University).

SOCIAL MOBILITY IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH (with Anirudh Krishna, Duke & Kunal Sen, University of Manchester).

WATER (DAMS) AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT (with Kunal Sen, University of Manchester & Richard Palmer-Jones, University of East Anglia).

BUSINESS NETWORKS AND HISTORY (with Chinmay Tumbe, IIM Ahmedabad).


Publications: journal articles & book chapters

1. Iversen, Vegard, Anirudh Krishna and Kunal Sen (2017): 'Beyond Poverty Escapes -Social Mobility in the Global South: A Survey Article' (under review).

2. Afridi, Farzana, Vegard Iversen and M. R. Sharan (2017): 'Women Political Leaders, Corruption and Learning: Evidence from a Large Public Program in India',                Economic Development and Cultural Change      66(1): 1-30.           

3. Iversen, Vegard and Richard Palmer-Jones (forthcoming): 'All you need is cable TV?',   Journal of Development Studies  .

4. Iversen, Vegard, Anirudh Krishna and Kunal Sen (2017): 'Rags to Riches? Intergenerational occupational mobility in India',   Economic and Political Weekly  , 52(44): 107-114.

5. Puri, Jyotsna, Anastasia Aladysheva, Vegard Iversen, Yashodhan Ghorpade and Tilman Bruck (2017): 'Can rigorous impact evaluation improve humanitarian assistance?',  Journal of Development Effectiveness , 9(4): 519-42.

6. Iversen, Vegard and Heather Lanthorn (2015): 'External validity clues in development: on what to look for and how', revised and resubmitted,  Evaluation .

7. Dhillon, Amrita, Vegard Iversen and Gaute Torsvik (2015): 'Employee referral, social proximity and worker discipline: theory and suggestive evidence from India'. Revision requested by  Economic Development and Cultural Change .

8. Iversen, Vegard, Adriaan Kalwij, Arjan Verschoor and Amaresh Dubey (2014): 'Caste Dominance and Economic Performance in Rural India',  Economic Development and Cultural Change  62(3): 423-57.

9. Afridi, Farzana and Vegard Iversen (2014): Social Audits and MNREGA Delivery: Lessons from Andhra Pradesh',  India Policy Forum 2013-14   Vol 10: 297-331.

10. Iversen, Vegard, Richard Palmer-Jones and Kunal Sen (2013): 'On the Colonial Origins of Agricultural Development in India: A Re-Examination of Banerjee and Iyer 'History, Institutions and Economic Performance',  Journal of Development Studies  49 (12): 1631-46.

11. Iversen, Vegard, Cecile Jackson, Bereket Kebede, Alistair Munro and Arjan Verschoor (2011): 'Do spouses realise cooperative gains? Experimental evidence from rural Uganda,  World Development  39(4): 569-78.     

12. Iversen, Vegard and Yashodhan Ghorpade (2011): 'Misfortune, misfits and what the city gave and took: the stories of South-Indian child labour migrants 1935-2005',  Modern Asian Studies  45(5): 1177-1226.

13. Iversen, Vegard and Gaute Torsvik (2011): 'Networks, middlemen and other (urban) labour market mysteries',  Indian Growth and Development Review  3(1): 62-80. 

14. Iversen, Vegard, Kunal Sen, Arjan Verschoor and Amaresh Dubey (2009): 'Job recruitment networks and migration to cities in India',  Journal of Development Studies  45(4): 522-43. 

15. Iversen, Vegard and Richard Palmer-Jones (2008): 'Literacy sharing, assortative mating or what? Labour market advantages and proximate illiteracy revisited',  Journal of Development Studies  44(6): 797-838. Awarded the Annual Dudley Seers Memorial Prize for the best paper published in Journal of Development Studies in 2008.

16. Iversen, Vegard and P. S. Raghavendra (2006): What the signboard hides: Food, caste and employability in small South-Indian eating places',  Contributions to Indian Sociology  40 (3): 311-41.

17. Iversen, Vegard, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Godfrey Bahiigwa, Frank Ellis and Robert James (2006): 'Private tax collection- remnant of the past or a way forward? Evidence from rural Uganda',  Public Administration and Development  26: 317-28.    

18. Iversen, Vegard. Birkha Chettry, Paul Francis, Madhu Gurung, Ghanendra Kafle, Adam Pain and Janet Seeley (2006): 'High value forests, hidden economies and elite capture: Evidence from forest user groups in Nepal's Terai',  Ecological Economics  58(1): 93-107.

19. Chettry, Birkha, Paul Francis, Madhu Gurung, Vegard Iversen, Ghanendra Kafle, Adam Pain and Janet Seeley (2005): A Framework for the Analysis of Community Forest Performance in the Terai',  Journal of Forest and Livelihood  4(2): 1-16.

20. Iversen Vegard (2003): 'Intra-household inequality - a challenge for the capability approach?',  Feminist Economics  9 (2-3): 93-115 (Special Issue on the Work and Ideas of Amartya Sen).  

21. Iversen, Vegard (2002): 'Autonomy in Child Labor Migrants',  World Development  30(5): 817-34.

22. Wiig, Henrik, Jens B. Aune, Solveig Glomsrod and Vegard Iversen (2001): 'Structural Adjustment and Soil Degradation in Tanzania - A CGE Model Approach with Endogenous Soil Productivity',  Agricultural Economics  24: 263-87. 

23. Brekke, Kjell Arne, Vegard Iversen and Jens B. Aune (1999): 'Tanzania's Soil Wealth',  Environment and Development Economics  4: 333-56.


24. Iversen, Vegard (forthcoming): 'Mending the (which 'skill'?) gaps: training options and returns in markets for low- and unskilled jobs', in Rajeev Malhotra (ed.): Poverty, Hunger and Malnutrition: Battles for India's Development. New Delhi:  Oxford University Press .

25. Iversen, Vegard (2012): 'Caste and Upward Mobility', in Chetan Ghate (ed.): The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Economy. New York:  Oxford University Press , pp. 195-224.

26. Iversen, Vegard, Kunal Sen, Arjan Verschoor and Amaresh Dubey (2011): 'Job Recruitment Networks and Migration to Cities in India,' reprinted in S. Irudaya Rajan (ed.): Migration, Identity and Conflict - India Migration Report 2011,  Routledge , pp. 144-72.   

27. Iversen, Vegard and Richard Palmer-Jones (2009): 'Literacy sharing, assortative mating or what? Labour market advantages and proximate illiteracy revisited', reprinted in Kaushik Basu, Bryan Maddox and Anna Robinson-Pant (eds.): Interdisciplinary approaches to literacy and development,  Routledge , pp. 29-70.

28. Iversen, Vegard (2005): 'Intra-household inequality - a challenge for the capability approach?', reprinted in Bina Agarwal, Jane Humphries and Ingrid Robeyns (eds.): Amartya Sen's Work and Ideas: A Gender Perspective,  Routledge , London and  Oxford University Press , New Delhi, pp. 106-31.  

29. Iversen, Vegard (2004): 'On Notions of Agency, Individual Heterogeneity and the Existence, Size and Composition of a Bonded Child Labour Force', in Steve Cullenberg and Prasanta Pattnaik (eds.): Globalization, Culture and the Limits of the Market: Essays in Economics and Philosophy, New Delhi:  Oxford University Press, pp. 107-41.    

30. Brekke, Kjell Arne, Vegard Iversen and Jens B. Aune (2003): 'Tanzania's Soil Wealth', reprinted in Charles Perrings and Jefffrey R. Vincent (eds.): Natural Resource Accounting and Economic Development, Theory and Practice, Cheltenham:  Edward Elgar. 



I have undertaken advisory and other assignments for, among others: the World Bank (Washington DC and New Delhi offices); the Department for International Development (Dfid); the Development Fund (Norway); The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI - through KPMG); International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie); The International Finance Corporation (IFC); Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD); Oxford Policy Management and Save the Children. I have received research grants from e.g. the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) UK, the Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty (University of Sussex) UK, the International Growth Centre (IGC), the Norwegian Research Council and 3ie.  

Assignments have included methodological quality assurance for the Steering Committee for the retrospective evaluation of Dfid's 20 years and GBP 250 million investment in rural livelihoods in India (Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal). For the ICAI, which is mandated to conduct independent reviews of Dfid programmes throughout the developing world, budget and time constraints and a diverse thematic portfolio (e.g. Dfid's approach to corruption and the impact on the poor; business in development; how Dfid learns; scaling up in fragile states) raise difficult questions about the appropriate methodological approach for each review. My task was to provide critical and constructive early feedback on proposed methodologies.  


Awards & Honors

Year Awards & Honors
2009 The (annual) Dudley Seers Memorial Prize (with co-author Richard Palmer-Jones) for the best article published in Journal of Development Studies in 2008  




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