Parijat Lal

Parijat Lal

Ph.D. Candidate in Economics

Columbia University


I’m an economist at Columbia University studying issues in economic development and inequality. So far, my research has focused on leveraging large-scale administrative data to answer questions in industrial development, labor, and public economics.

I was born in Germany, and had the privilege of living in India (my home country), Iran, Austria, Thailand, and Kenya before coming to the US for college. I’m a big fan of (old school) hip hop, (Arsenal and Germany) football, reading historical fiction, and exploring different cuisines. Feel free to reach out!


  • Development Economics and Inequality
  • Public, Labor, and Health Economics


  • Ph.D. in Economics, 2024

    Columbia University

  • M.A. in Economics, 2020

    Columbia University

  • B.A. in Economics, 2017

    Harvard College

Work in Progress

Cooperatives, Competition, and Compensation

Equilibrium Effects of Incentivizing Public Services

(with Utkarsh Kumar)

Complementarity and Substitution in Import Tax Evasion

(with Michael Best, Nada Eissa, Joseph Okello, Jakob Rauschendorfer, and Sandra Sequeira)

Withholding Taxes: Implications for Services Trade, Revenue, and Equity

(with Alexander Klemm and Li Liu)


Undergraduate Principles of Economics

Winner of Wueller Award for Best TF in Principles

Fall 2021 (TF), Spring 2022 (Head TF)

Undergraduate Industrial Organization

Summer 2020 (TF)

Policy Research

Drivers and Implications of Import Tax Evasion in Uganda

(with Michael Best, Nada Eissa, Joseph Okello, Jakob Rauschendorfer, and Sandra Sequeira). 2023. International Growth Centre Project Report.

Scalable Business Models for Alternative Biomass Cooking Fuels and Their Potential in Sub-Saharan Africa

(under Dalberg Advisors). 2017. World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) Working Paper.

Bridging the Gap Between Growth and Development

(with Tanoubi Ngangom). In Global Goals, National Action: Making the Post-2015 Development Agenda Relevant to India, edited by Vikrom Mathur and Ritika Passi. London: Global Policy and Observer Research Foundation.

India’s Economic Footprint in the Developing World

(with Shubh Soni). August 2015. Observer Research Foundation Issue Brief 100.

Work Experience

Department of Economics, Columbia University

Graduate Research Fellow for Joseph Stiglitz (2019-present)
Graduate Research Fellow for Michael Best (2020-21)

International Monetary Fund

Fund Internship Program (2023)

Dalberg Advisors

Analyst (2017-18), Intern (2016)

Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs

Research Assistant for EU Fellow Marzena Rogalska (2015-16)

J-PAL South Asia

Research Associate (2015)

Observer Research Foundation

Research Intern in the Center for Economy and Development (2015)

Udayan Care

Legal Research Intern (2014)