Foundation Award for Research

Sharmistha Self

Dr. Sharmistha Self

College of Humanities and Public Affairs

I. Focus of Research

The primary focus of my academic research has been on understanding different aspects of economic development. I am interested mainly in international economic development with specific focus on issues such as education and health, gender-related issues, importance of agriculture, issues specific to certain regions and countries, and the institutional framework that governs economic development. These are the common threads that run through all my research. In the area of economic development, I have been particularly interested in pursuing relatively novel areas of economic development such as female autonomy as an avenue for growth. My research has shown that increases in female autonomy does not only help the woman, but also has a beneficial impact on her children and her family’s overall well-being. A secondary area of my research interest has been in pedagogical issues related to the teaching of economics. For example, in one of my papers I looked at the role of attendance policies on class attendance in principles level Economics classes. The results showed that having an explicit attendance policy reduced absenteeism. In addition, the results found an attendance policy that punished students for missing class to be more effective than one that rewarded students for good attendance.

II. Major Projects

Publications since 2009

  1. Grabowski, R., Self, S., Shields, M. P. (2012). Economic Development: A Regional, Institutional, and Historical Approach (2nd edition). Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe.
Refereed Journal Articles
  1. Self, S. Spousal-Differences in Perception of Female Autonomy in Household Decision-Making in Nepal. Forthcoming in Development Journal of the South.
  2. Self, S. Boys’ Versus Girls’ Schooling in Nepal: Does it Vary by the Extent of Mother’s Autonomy?, forthcoming in Oxford Development Studies.
  3. Self, S., Grabowski, R. (2014) Some Preliminary Evidence of the Impact of the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis on Women. Applied Economics, 46(30): 3673-3681.
  4. Self, S. (2014). Explaining the Ambiguous Impact of Mother’s Autonomy on her Daughters in Patriarchal Societies. Forthcoming in Canadian Journal of Development Studies.
  5. Self, S. (2013). Incorporating Online Tools in a Traditional Principles of Macroeconomics Class: Does it Really Make a Difference? International Review of Economic Education, 14: 36-45.
  6. Self, S. (2013). Does Son Preference Pay-off for the Ailing and Elderly in Rural India?  International Journal of Social Economics, 40(12), 1077-1093.
  7. Self, S., Grabowski, R. (2013). Women’s Autonomy in Rural North India: Impact of Economic, Political and Social Factors. Journal of Economic Development, 38(1), 59-82.
  8. Self, S., Grabowski, R. (2012). Son Preference, Autonomy, and Maternal Health in Rural India. Oxford Development Studies, 40(3), 305-323.
  9. Self, S. (2012). Studying Absenteeism in Principles of Macroeconomics: Do Attendance Policies Make a Difference? Journal of Economic Education, 43(3), 223-234.
  10. Lahiri, S., Self, S. (2012). Gender Differences in Healthcare Provisions for Children: Evidence from Two Hindi Speaking States in India. Indian Journal of Social Development, 12(12).
  11. Self, S., Grabowski, R. (2012). Mother’s Autonomy: Impact on Children’s Healthcare and Gender Bias in Healthcare in India. Applied Economics, 45(14), 1903-1913.
  12. Self, S., Grabowski, R. (2012). Female Autonomy and Health Care in Developing Countries: A Closer Look at Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Review of Development Economics, 16(1), 185-198.
  13. Self, S. (2011). Market and Non-Market Child Labor in Rural India: Role of Mother’s Labor Force Participation. Oxford Development Studies, 39(3), 315-338.
  14. Self, S. (2011). Role of the Information Age in Making Voices Heard in MENA Countries: A Note. Empirical Economics Letters, 10(8), 801-808.
  15. Self, S., Grabowski, R. (2011). Opportunities for Women and Islam: Variation Upon Variation. Applied Economics, 44(1), 64-79.
  16. Self, S., Grabowski, R. (2010). Is there Gender Bias in Participation in Early Childhood Education Programs in Developing Countries? Role of Mother’s Education. Journal of International Development, 23(7), 909-925.
  17. Self, S., Grabowski, R. (2009). Relative Gender Differentials and Islam in Non-Arabic Countries: Some Regional Variations. International Journal of Development Issues, 8(2), 102-118.
  18. Self, S., Grabowski, R. (2009). Impact of Agricultural Technology on Agricultural Child Labor: Evidence from India. Agricultural Economics, 40(1), 67-78.
  19. Self, S., Grabowski, R. (2009). Gender Development, Institutions, and Level of Economic Development. Review of Development Economics, 13(2), 319-332.
  20. Self, S., Grabowski, R. (2009). Modernization, Inter-Caste Marriage, and Dowry: An Analytical Perspective. Journal of Asian Economics, 20(1), 69-76.

III. Future Directions of Research

I am currently carrying out research projects utilizing a large data set on household survey done by the World Bank in Nepal. The projects relate to avenues via which HIV/AIDS related awareness and knowledge can be spread across Nepal.  In addition, I have recently procured a data set on aging in India. This is the first data set of its kind. This data set commonly referred to as LASI (Longitudinal Aging Study in India) is a joint project of three partnering institutions: Harvard School of Public Health, the International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), and the RAND Corporation. I am currently developing a paper looking at factors that influence healthcare choices by the elderly in India. In addition to the above, I am also working on several research projects with one of my former undergraduate students who is currently pursuing a graduate degree also at MSU. These papers look at the role of ethanol mandate on corn and food prices and on the production of biofuels in the United States and other NAFTA countries.

IV. Topics related to your research and of interest to the broad University Community, for which you are available for presentations and/or consultations.

  • Role of female autonomy and gender bias in developing countries.
  • Impact of attendance policies on class attendance.
  • Role of online homework/quizzes in students’ educational outcome.