Personal profile

Monash teaching commitment

ECC 3670 - Economics of Developing Countries

ECC 3810 - Public Finance


Ranjan undertook his undergraduate studies in Presidency College at the University of Calcutta, his postgraduate studies at the Delhi School of Economics and completed his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. Prior to moving to Monash, Ranjan served as Lecturer in Econometrics at Manchester University, UK, Professor of Public Economics at the Delhi School of Economic, India and Professor and Head of Economics at the University of Tasmania, Australia. He has also held visting positions at the University of British Columbia, Canada, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy and Cornell University, USA. Ranjan is currently on the editorial board of the Review of Income and Wealth (journal of the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth and Economic Record (journal of the Economic Society of Australia).

A measure of social justice

Deprivation and social justice are not only recurring themes in Professor Ranjan Ray's wide-ranging research, but ones that cut firmly through some established boundaries. 'The old line between developed and developing countries, and development and non-development economics, is blurred and that's reflected in my research,' he says. 'I don't divorce the two.'

An early interest in data, methodology, analytical framework and policy has persisted throughout Ranjan's 30 or so years in economics research, but he has slowly shifted his emphasis away from statistics and towards development.

'I don't see development as being only the preserve of or restricted to third world countries,' he says. 'There are a lot of developmental issues and implications for people in Australia; the divide between indigenous and non-indigenous people, for example.'

One-time boundaries are also collapsing, he says, as booming countries like India and China close the gap in one direction, and global financial crises draw others back.

Poverty and inequality are relevant across the spectrum. Ranjan has recently been widening his study of such issues to multidimensional deprivation, a term that recognises the complex nature of deprivation, of which capacity to spend is merely one aspect.

'You may not be poor but you may be deprived,' he says. 'It is perfectly possible that you are above the poverty line but still don't have access to health, to electricity, to schooling, to water.'

His research drills deeper to determine how different groups in society are affected, comparing, for example, those who own their own homes and those who don't, city dwellers and those in remote areas, and indigenous and non-indigenous people.

This project highlights Ranjan's broad view of his field, using not only data from developing countries but also Australian data from the HILDA (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia) survey.

Other research relates to issues arising throughout the development spectrum.

Child labour is a longstanding interest that sits at the developing end, as does a current project on the interplay between corruption and the informal sector. Small businesses such as tea-stalls tend to slip under the radar; some may be entirely legitimate, others may not. Ranjan is considering whether corruption contributes to the informal sector, and vice versa.

Quite different issues -- the effects of price changes, measurements of equality, and how inflation redistributes wealth towards or away from certain socioeconomic groups - involve study of developed nations such as Australia and Britain.

Australian Research Council Discovery Project grants have supported many of Ranjan's projects.

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or