University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

Professor Uma Kambhampati

  • Head of School
  • Professor of Economics



Building location

Edith Morley

Areas of interest

I am an applied development economist. Broadly, my interests lie with Gender and Development, Development and Inequalities and Intra-household decision making.

I have worked on a range of socio-economic issues relating to developing countries, both at firm level and at the level of individuals and households. My research relates to inequalities, especially by gender. In recent years, I have worked on

  • women’s empowerment and well-being including women’s labour market participation and life satisfaction.
  • issues relating to childhood inequalities, particularly in relation to child work and schooling participation, inequalities between girls and boys as well as inequalities across social and religious groups.
  • the political economy of welfare provision in India
  • firm productivity and industrial growth in developing countries

I have published extensively in all these areas. My research has involved the analysis of relatively large datasets relating to developing countries – India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Indonesia – as well as the UK. These include census data, labour force surveys, consumption surveys and the Demographic and Health Surveys

Postgraduate supervision

I supervise PhD students on a range of topics from graduate returns to education in the UK, the impact of education and employment on female empowerment in Bangladesh to impact of climate change on agricultural production and livelihoods in Pakistan. I would be delighted to supervise doctoral students on any of my research interests above and am excited to receive interesting proposals in a range of areas within Development Economics including:

  • Child labour and schooling
  • Women’s empowerment, education and labour market participation
  • Impact of institutions on development
  • Individual well-being and life satisfaction
  • Productivity and competitiveness of manufacturing firms

Research projects

I am currently working on a project funded by the Office for Students and Research England on improving the access and retention of BAME PGR students in academia. The project – Generation Delta - is joint with six other UK universities.


I arrived in the UK from India in 1981 and joined school in North London. I graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1992 with a BA, MPhil and PhD in Economics. My first lectureship was at the University of East Anglia and I joined Reading in 1998. I am currently a Professor of Economics and Head of the School of Politics Economics and International Relations at the University of Reading

Academic qualifications

  • PhD Economics, 1992, University of Cambridge, Faculty of Economics and Politics
  • MPhil. Economics, 1988, University of Cambridge, Queens' College
  • BA Economics Tripos, 1987, University of Cambridge, Queens' College

Professional bodies/affiliations


Loading your publications ...