This year, the UD Alfred Lerner College welcomed several new faculty members into its community. Manaswini Rao is an assistant professor of economics; she spoke with Lerner about her passion for economics and why she chose to join the University of Delaware.
Lerner: What is your professional and academic background?
Rao: Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from University of California Berkeley (2020)
Lerner: What is your research focus?
Rao: Development Economics/Institutions/Productivity and Growth
Lerner: What inspired you to work in your field/research/subject area?
Rao: Growing up in various parts of India, I realized how starkly different lives can be and how so many people continued to live in debilitating poverty. This motivated me to study causes and consequences of poverty and how policy and market forces can be leveraged to reduce it.
Lerner: What is it about UD that made you want to work/teach/research here?
Rao: The Economics Department at UD is extremely dynamic with excellent researchers not only in my field of development economics but also in complementary fields of household finance, labor, environmental economics, and many more that would help me grow as a researcher and a teacher.
Lerner: What course are you most excited to teach at Lerner?
Rao: I’m excited and looking forward to teaching Econ 301, Intermediate Microeconomic Theory with Calculus in Spring.
Lerner: What is something unique about you that may surprise your peers/students? (hobby, talent, experience etc.)
Rao: I used to be an engineer that worked many years in policy and advocacy before starting my journey as a researcher in economics.