Krishna B. Kumar

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Director, RAND Labor and Population; Distinguished Chair in International Economic Policy; Senior Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in economics, University of Chicago

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Krishna Kumar is director of RAND Labor and Population and holds the Distinguished Chair in International Economic Policy. He also leads the Rosenfeld Program on Asian Development at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, where he co-teaches a course on economic development. His research interests include economic growth and development, human capital formation, and technological change. Projects include examining the role of NIH/federal funding on university R&D and university-firm alliance formation (funded by NSF), using a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of farmer field schools to reduce excessive fertilizer usage by Chinese farmers (funded by 3ie), and building capacity at the Kurdistan Region Statistical Office through the implementation of a labor force survey (funded by the Kurdistan Regional Government). His current proposals include examining the factors beyond academic preparedness that influence STEM enrollment and persistence in U.S. universities, understanding the aggregation of individual values into corporate and national governance, and their transmission across developed-developing country boundaries through investment and trade, and calculating the gross domestic product of the Kurdistan Region using enterprise surveys. Kumar has published in leading journals on economic growth and development and macroeconomics. He has received the Huddleson teacher award from Pardee RAND Graduate School, and the President's award, and silver and gold merit awards from RAND. Kumar received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.

Pardee RAND Graduate School Courses

Previous Positions

Director, Research And Policy in International Development (RAPID) program

Recent Projects

  • Labor Markets for Anesthesiology
  • A scoping exercise of socioeconomic issues likely to affect the poor and vulnerable in the United States
  • Federal Funding of University R&D: The Pathway to Commercialization
  • Designing a Policy-Relevant Data Collection System for the Kurdistan Region
  • Assessing Impact of Farmer Field Schools on Excess Fertilizer Use in China

Selected Publications

Krishna B. Kumar, John G. Matsusaka, "From Families to Formal Contracts: An Approach to Development," Journal of Development Economics, 90:106-119, 2009

Elizabeth M. Caucutt, Krishna B. Kumar, "Africa: Is Aid an Answer?" The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics (Advances), 8(1), 2008

Elizabeth M. Caucutt, Krishna B. Kumar, "Education for All: The Right Course for Africa?" Review of Economic Dynamics, 10:294-326, 2007

Ana Fernandes, Krishna B. Kumar, "Inappropriate Technology: What is in it for the rich?" Macroeconomic Dynamics, 11:487-518, 2007

Elizabeth M. Caucutt, Selahattin Imrohoroglu, Krishna B. Kumar, "Does the Progressivity of Income Taxes Matter for Human Capital and Growth?" Macroeconomic Dynamics, 8(1):95-118, 2006

Ayse Imrohoroglu, Krishna B. Kumar, "Intermediation Costs and Capital Flows," Review of Economic Dynamics, 7(3):586-612, 2004

Dirk Krueger, Krishna B. Kumar, "Skill-specific rather than General Education: A Reason for US-Europe Growth Differences?" Journal of Economic Growth, 9(2):167-207, 2004

Dirk Krueger, Krishna B. Kumar, "US-Europe differences in technology-driven growth: quantifying the role of education," Journal of Monetary Economics, 51(1):161-190, 2004

Honors & Awards

  • 2010 President's Award, RAND
  • 2008 Silver Merit Award, RAND
  • Awards for teaching excellence, Pardee RAND Graduate School, Duke Fuqua School of Business, Indian School of Business