Sonia Bhalotra is Professor of Economics at the University of Essex. Her research is on health, gender and political economy. She has contributed to understanding the creation of human capital, the long benefits of early life health interventions (clean water, antibiotics, infant care); maternal depression, maternal mortality, domestic violence, childhood mortality; gender inequality; the political economy of public service provision; accountability and the right to health; implementing universal health coverage; parental investments in children; intergenerational mobility, the gender pay gap and women’s labour force participation, and the dynamics of mortality, fertility and sex selection. Her research is set, inter alia, in India, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, America, the UK and Sweden.

She is Co-Director of the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change at ISER and Co-Investigator on an ESRC Project on Human Rights, Big Data and Technology at the Human Rights Centre. She holds or has recently held research awards from Grand Challenges Explorations, Grand Challenges Canada, the British Academy, the Bank of Sweden, the Swedish Research Council and the International Growth Centre. She is collaborating on a major NIH award led by Professor Maselko at UNC.

Sonia has acted as Keynote or Panels on fifteen occasions in the last three years- including a British Academy debate on global inequalities, the gender equality panel at an SDG financing event at the European Investment Bank, and a forthcoming Academy of Social Science event celebrating Women in Social Science.

She is on the International Advisory Boards of Lancet Women, Academics Stand Against Poverty Yale, The Millennium Nucleus for the Study of the Life Course and Vulnerability Santiago Chile, the Goettingen India Centre and a UNICEF network on adolescents in humanitarian crises. She is on the Peer Review Boards of the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship and the GCRF, Visiting Professor at the University of Gothenburg and Research Fellow at SFI Denmark.

She has recently served on Scientific Committees at the WHO, UNICEF, ILO, British Academy, the European Society of Population Economics Council, the International Review Panel of the Danish Research Council and several ESRC committees and was a CROP Research Fellow at Bergen and a Visiting Professor at Essen.

Sonia obtained an MPhil and PhD from Oxford and a BSc Hons from Delhi. Prior to joining Essex, Sonia was a Professor at the University of Bristol.


IZA Publications

IZA Discussion Paper No. 11878
Revise & resubmit: Journal of the European Economic Association
IZA Discussion Paper No. 11742
forthcoming, Review of Economics and Statistics
IZA Discussion Paper No. 11716
submitted. Revised version here:
IZA Discussion Paper No. 11640
submitted. Revised version:
IZA Discussion Paper No. 11590
submitted. Revised version here:
IZA Discussion Paper No. 11239
Sonia R. Bhalotra, Rachel Brulé, Sanchari Roy
Journal of Development Economics, forthcoming
IZA Discussion Paper No. 10938
R&R at the Journal of Human Resources
IZA Discussion Paper No. 10618
Submitted. Also available as NBER WP 23239.
IZA Discussion Paper No. 10405
IZA Discussion Paper No. 10339
Revised version here:
IZA Discussion Paper No. 10271
Submitted. Revised version here (Nov 2017):
IZA Discussion Paper No. 9930
published in: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2019, 11 (2), 1-34
IZA Discussion Paper No. 9679
R&R, Journal of Development Economics. Revised version:
IZA Discussion Paper No. 8969
published in: Journal of the European Economic Association, 2017, 15 (1), 1101 - 1157
IZA Discussion Paper No. 7473
Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization, 2014, 104, 4-17
IZA Discussion Paper No. 6216
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2014, 6 (2), 164-97
IZA Discussion Paper No. 6194
American Economic Review, 2012, 102 (3), 273-277
IZA Discussion Paper No. 6041
Revise and resubmit, Journal of Political Economy. Latest version at
IZA Discussion Paper No. 5371
Journal of Public Economics, 2011, 95 (3-4), 286-299
IZA Discussion Paper No. 5363
Journal of Development Studies, 2012, 48 (2), 145-167
IZA Discussion Paper No. 4879
Sonia R. Bhalotra, Marcela Umana-Aponte
revised version available
IZA Discussion Paper No. 4353
Review of Economics and Statistics, 2013, 95 (2), 660 - 672
IZA Discussion Paper No. 4009
Journal of Health Economics, 2010, 29 (2), 191-204
IZA Discussion Paper No. 3086
Journal of Development Economics, 2010, 93 (1), 7-19
IZA Discussion Paper No. 2914
Health Economics, 2007, 16 (9), 911-928
IZA Discussion Paper No. 2488
published as 'The linked survival prospects of siblings: evidence for the Indian States' in: Population Studies, 2008, 62 (2), 171-190.
IZA Discussion Paper No. 2251
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A, 2006, 169 (4), 829-848
IZA Discussion Paper No. 2163
Journal of Econometrics, 2008, 143 (2), 274-290
IZA Policy Paper No. 38
in: 2014, G.W. Brown, G. Yamey, S. Wamala (eds.):.Handbook of Global Health Policy, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014