Debasmita Das

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at Purdue University.

My research interests are in the areas of labor economics, public economics, and family economics.

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information:
Krannert 332
403 W. State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907

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“SNAP Work Requirement and Food Insecurity"

In this paper, I examine the effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) work requirement reinstatement on food insecurity outcomes of able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). The policy restricts SNAP benefits of ABAWDs to 3 months in a 36 months period if they are not working or participating in any work program for at least 20 hours a week. In the aftermath of 2008 recession, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 waived work requirements nationwide, and many states reimplemented the work rule at different times beginning in 2011. I employ a difference-in-differences approach utilizing this cross-state variation in reimplementation of the policy. Using rich information on food affordability and food intake behavior from the Food Security Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS-FSS), I find that promoting work for food assistance improved overall food security status of ABAWDs by reducing disruptions in food intake, anxiety over food affordability and dependency on emergency food receipt. Subsample analyses indicate that effects are stronger for never married and less educated ABAWDs.


“Delaying Retirement? A Life-Cycle Model of Older Women's Labor Supply"


“Inclusive Growth: Economics as if People Mattered"
(with Aruni Mitra )
Global Business Review, 2018, 19(3), pp. 756-770.

In this study, we provide a holistic working definition of inclusive growth unlike previous definitions that come under the shadow of pro-poor growth or inequality reduction. We measure inclusive growth through a newly proposed index, named as the Inclusive Growth Index (IGI), based on 24 developmental indicator variables (categorized into expansion, sustainability, equity in access, and efficiency of economic activities and institutions) as its components. We have employed two kinds of weighting schemes in constructing the index: an ad hoc weighting scheme and a weighting scheme based on principal component analysis (PCA), performed differently on variables under each dimension. We calculated IGI for 16 Asian countries and we ranked the countries according to their respective inclusive growth achievements. Through a comparison of IGI values with the Human Development Index (HDI) values, our findings give insight to the fact that how HDI values can be misleading in measuring development performance of a country and how IGI is able to identify income based as well as non-income based aspects of well-being.

“Estimating Elasticity of Import Demand for Gold in India"
(with Paramita Mukherjee, and Vivekananda Mukherjee)
Resources Policy, 2017, 51, pp. 183-193.

In India, rising demand for gold had an adverse impact on the country's current account balance and the attempts to curb gold import demand often failed in the recent past. In this paper, we empirically investigate the reasons of such failures by analyzing the possibility of habit formation and inventory adjustment effects in determining the dynamics of gold import demand in India. Using three dynamic demand models based on distributed lag specifications, we estimate the price and income elasticities of different forms of physical gold imports, viz. jewelry (non-monetary powder form of gold and other non-monetary semi-manufactured forms of gold) and bars (other non-monetary unwrought forms of gold). Based on monthly gold import data, we find that Indian consumers care about variation in gold prices, silver prices, gold import expenditures and long-term bond yield in the short-run, but in the longer horizon they exhibit demand persistence. Different sensitivity of different forms of gold import suggest that an aggregate demand analysis fails to capture the non-symmetric mechanisms operating on different components of gold import demand in India. Our findings have important implications for anti-inflationary and anti-cyclical policymaking.



ECON 370 International Trade - Summer 2018

Recitation Instructor

ECON 210 Principles of Economics - Fall 2016

Teaching Assistant

Course Instructor Term
ECON 360 Econometrics Prof. Victoria Prowse Spring 2019, Spring 2020
ECON 352 Intermediate Macroeconomics Prof. Soojin Kim Spring 2019
ECON 352 Intermediate Macroeconomics Prof. Trevor Gallen Fall 2018
ECON 340 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory Prof. Collin Raymond Fall 2017
ECON 511 Intermediate Microeconomics Prof. Bill Novshek Fall 2016