Cornell University

International Programs

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Visiting Fellow Profile

Arnab K. Basu

basuCountry of Origin: India
Visiting Period: Spring 2011
Faculty Sponsor: Professor Gary Fields

Arnab K. Basu received his Ph.D in Economics from the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore and his Master’s and undergraduate degrees respectively from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi and St. Xavier's College, University of Calcutta (both in India). Professor Basu has been a faculty at the College of William and Mary since 1998 and is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany. He has previously held long-term visiting positions at Florida International University, Miami, Cornell Institute of Public Affairs (CIPA) and the City University of Hong Kong.

His research interests are in International and Development Economics. In Development Economics, Professor Basu’s current research interest focuses on the labor markets of developing economies (Child Labor, Minimum Wage Laws, Employment Guarantee Schemes, Informal Sector and Human Trafficking).  One of his projects while at Cornell is researching how domestic and international legislation interacts and impacts human trafficking. In International Economics, Professor Basu’s research interest is in analyzing the phenomenon of cross-hauling of capital under production uncertainty, exploring cross-national differences in the willingness-to-pay for social and eco-labeled products (e.g. fair trade coffee) and examining the determinants of international aid disbursement at the project-level.  

At ILR Professor Basu is working on two projects: The first one is on poverty alleviation and information valuation by consumers for products that are produced by social labeling cooperatives (particularly Fair Trade Coffee). This project uses surveys conducted in University campus’s to understand why consumers behave the way they do, and what attributes of the product label is valued by consumers. In effect, the project tests whether consumers are averse to poverty and relative deprivation of the participating and non-participating producers when they decide to buy a Fair Trade product.

Professor Basu will also be looking at job search strategies and the issue of self-employment in developing economies along with Gary Fields (ILR and Department of Economics), Nancy H. Chau (Dyson School), and Ravi Kanbur (Dyson School and Department of Economics).  

Recent Publications:
•   “Economic Reform, Informal-Formal Sector Linkages and Intervention in the Informal Sector in Developing Countries: A Paradox"; International Review of Economics and Finance, 19, pp 662-670, 2010. (co-authors: Maria Willumsen and Hassan Arvin-Rad).
•   “Turning a Blind Eye: Costly Enforcement, Credible Commitment and Minimum Wage Laws”; Economic Journal, 120, pp 244-269, 2010. (co-authors: Nancy H. Chau and Ravi Kanbur). “A Theory of Employment Guarantees: Credibility, Contestibility and Distributional Concerns”; Journal of Public Economics, 93 (3-4), pp 482-497, 2009. (co-authors: Nancy H. Chau and Ravi Kanbur).

- Arnab K. Basu