Padma Desai

Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor Emerita of Comparative Economic Systems
1015 International Affairs Building
Office Hours: 
Tuesdays: 3:00pm-5:00pm and by appointment
Professor Padma Desai September 2013 Short Curriculum Vitae Padma Desai, Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor of Comparative Economic Systems and Director of the Center for Transition Economies at Columbia University, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She was President of the Association for Comparative Economic Studies in 2001. She received her Ph. D. in economics from Harvard University in 1960 where she began her teaching career. Professor Desai has published extensively in professional journals on issues of economic planning in the Soviet Union before she switched her research agenda to economic reforms in Russia and the emerging market economies. Her latest writings focus on the globalization of these economies and their exposure to financial crisis. Among her publications are: Planning for Industrialization A Study of Indian Industrialization and Trade Policies (with J. Bhagwati), OECD Development Center, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970; second printing; paperback edition. The Bokaro Steel Plant A Study of Soviet Economic Assistance, Amsterdam: North Holland Publishing Company, 1972. Estimates of Soviet Grain Imports in 1980 85: Alternative Approaches, Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute, February 1981. Weather and Grain Yields in the Soviet Union, Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute, 1986. Marxism, Central Planning and the Soviet Economy (Editor) (The MIT Press, 1983) The Soviet Economy: Problems and Prospects (Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1987, a collection of her econometric essays subsequently published in 1990 as paperback) Perestroika in Perspective: The Design and Dilemmas of Soviet Reform (Princeton University Press, 1989, subsequently published in its fifth printing in 1990 as a revised paperback edition (Indonesian and Korean translations) Going Global: Transition from Plan to Market in the World Economy (Editor) (The MIT Press, 1997; second printing in 1999; Chinese translation); and (jointly with Todd Idson) Work Without Wages: Russia's Nonpayment Crisis (The MIT Press, December 2000). Her Financial Crisis, Contagion, and Containment: From Asia to Argentina (Princeton University Press, 2003; Chinese translation and Indian edition) was described by Paul Krugman as the "best book yet on financial crises." Her Conversations on Russia, a collection of interviews with distinguished Russian and Western policymakers and analysts on Russian reforms from Yeltsin to Putin, published by Oxford University Press in April 2006, was selected by the Financial Times among a few select books as “pick of 2006.” Her "From Financial Crisis to Global Recovery" was published by Columbia University Press in the Spring of 2011. The book was published in India by Harper Collins inc in November 2012. Her memoirs, Breaking Out: An Indian Woman's American Journey were published by Penguin/Viking (India) in April 2012. They were brought out by the MIT Press in September 2013 with wide recognition. In mid- September, Publisher's Weekly mentioned the memoirs among a few books published in the Fall of 2013. Professor Desai was elected member of the prestigious PEN America Chapter (which has 600+ members) consisting of academics, writers, historians, novelists and poets. Professor Desai has combined her scholarly activity with frequent writings in the New York Times, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and appearances on the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, CNN, BBC, Debates-Debates, Jim Lehrer News Hour, and the Charlie Rose Show. She will appear on the Brian Lehrer Show on November 4, 2013. Professor Desai is married to Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor at Columbia University. Their daughter, Anuradha Kristina, a cum laude graduate of Yale University in English Literature, was a Commanding Officer with the rank of a Captain in the School of Infantry in the United States Marine Corps. She subsequently graduated with a Master of Public Policy degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in May 2006. She is the Executive Director of Service Women's Action Network (SWAN), a voluntary organization that promotes the interests of servicewomen and veterans in the U.S. military. Padam's specialty is Macroeconomic Analysis of Emerging Market Economics including Russia
Development Economics, International Macroeconomics, Macroeconomics
International Affairs Building, Columbia University
420 W 118 St MC 3308
New York, NY 10027
United States