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Pranab Kumar Bardhan (born 11 September 1939 in Calcutta) is an Indian economist who has taught and worked in the United States since 1979. He is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.[1]

Pranab Bardhan
Pranab Bardhan.jpg
Born11 September 1939 (1939-09-11) (age 80)
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
FieldDevelopment economics, political economy and international trade
Information at IDEAS / RePEc


Bardhan received his bachelor's degree at Presidency College, Kolkata in 1958, his master's at University of Calcutta in 1960, and his doctorate at Cambridge University in 1966.[2] He taught at the University of Calcutta (1961–62), MIT (1966–69), Indian Statistical Institute (1969–72), the Delhi School of Economics of the University of Delhi (1973–77) and joined the Berkeley economics department in 1977. He has been Visiting Professor/ Fellow at London School of Economics, Trinity College, Cambridge, St Catherine's College, Oxford, and University of Siena, Italy.[3]

His early work was on growth and trade theory. Subsequently, he has done theoretical and empirical research on rural institutions in poor countries, on political economy of development policies, and on international trade and globalisation. A part of his work is in the interdisciplinary area of economics, political science, and social anthropology.[4]

He has been on the editorial board of a number of economics journals, including The American Economic Review (1978–81), the Journal of Economic Perspectives (1989–94), the International Economic Review (Associate Editor, 1971–1985), and the Journal of Development Economics (Chief Editor, 1985 to 2003).[5]

He won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1981[6] and the Mohalanobis Gold Medal of the Indian Econometric Society in 1980.

He is the author of 13 books, more than 150 journal articles, and the editor of 12 other books.[5] His memoirs in Bengali have been serialised in the Calcutta literary magazine Desh.

Bardhan is also on the advisory board of FFIPP-USA (Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace-USA), a network of Palestinian, Israeli, and International faculty, and students, working in for an end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and just peace.


For him, equality of opportunity is more important than equality of income. Equality of opportunity depends on such factors as land distribution, education, and social equality.[7] In his book The Political Economy of Development in India, Bardhan discusses the nature of dominant proprietary classes in India'. He claims that the industrial capitalist class, rich farmers, and the professionals in the public sector are the three main dominant classes in India which play a major role in influencing and designing public policy. Bardhan claims that there is a conflict of interests among these classes and they fight and bargain to get adequate share in the spoils of the system. This process of negotiation and bargain gives relative autonomy to the Indian state to exert its power.[8]

Selected worksEdit


  • Bardhan, Pranab K. (1984). Land, labor, and rural poverty: essays in development economics. Delhi New York: Oxford University Press Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231053884.
  • Bardhan, Pranab (1998). The political economy of development in India (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK New York, New York, USA: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195647709.
  • Bardhan, Pranab (1989). Conversations between economists and anthropologists: methodological issues in measuring economic change in rural India. Delhi New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195624328.
  • Bardhan, Pranab (1989). The Economic theory of agrarian institutions. Oxford England New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198287629.
  • Bardhan, Pranab; Roemer, John (1993). Market socialism: the current debate. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195080490.
  • Bardhan, Pranab; Udry, Christopher (1989). The Economic theory of agrarian institutions. Oxford England New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198286196.
  • Bardhan, Pranab (2003). International trade, growth, and development: essays. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell. ISBN 9781405101400.
  • Bardhan, Pranab (2003). Poverty, agrarian structure, and political economy in India: selected essays. New Delhi New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195661170.
  • Bardhan, Pranab (2005). Scarcity, conflicts, and cooperation: essays in the political and institutional economics of development. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262524292.
  • Bardhan, Pranab; Wallerstein, Michael; Bowles, Samuel (2006). Globalization and egalitarian redistribution. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691125190.
  • Bardhan, Pranab; Mookherjee, Dilip (2006). Decentralization and local governance in developing countries a comparative perspective. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262524544.
  • Bardhan, Pranab; Bowles, Samuel; Baland, Jean-Marie (2007). Inequality, cooperation, and environmental sustainability. New York Princeton: Russell Sage Foundation Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691128795.
  • Bardhan, Pranab (2013). Awakening giants, feet of clay assessing the economic rise of China and India. Princeton, New Jersey Woodstock: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691156408.
  • Bardhan, Pranab (2014). Memory scratching. Calcutta: Ananda Publishers. (A memoir.)
In Bengali as: Bardhan, Pranab (2014). Smṛti Kaṇduẏan. Kolkāta: Ānanda Publishers. ISBN 9789350403129.

Chapters in booksEdit

  • Bardhan, Pranab (2009), "Economic reforms, poverty and inequality in China and India", in Kanbur, Ravi; Basu, Kaushik (eds.), Arguments for a better world: essays in honor of Amartya Sen | Volume II: Society, institutions and development, Oxford New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 350–364, ISBN 9780199239979.


  1. ^ "Economics Emeritus Faculty Profiles". Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Emereti: Pranab Bardhan". Center for South Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 9 September 2013. Quote: "Degree: Ph.D. Cambridge University, 1966"
  3. ^ "Pranab Kumar Bardhan" (PDF). Curriculum Vitae. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ a b Pranab Bardhan CV
  6. ^ [2]; List of Guggenheim Fellowships awarded in 1981
  7. ^ How Unequal India is?
  8. ^ Bardhan, Pranab (1984). The political economy of development in India. Oxford, New Delhi, ISBN 9780195647709.

External linksEdit