research institute for compassionate economics


Payal Hathi

Managing Director

[email protected]

Payal is interested in health, gender, state effectiveness, and service delivery in India. Most recently, she worked with the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program, managing research initiatives in South Asia. Payal started her career in India overseeing several randomized evaluations of rural health programs with the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) in Udaipur, Rajasthan, and later supported various M&E initiatives with the Liberian Ministry of Health and Abt Associates in Kenya, Nigeria, and Madagascar. She has also worked extensively with survivors of domestic violence and is certified as a rape crisis counselor in the U.S. Originally from Southern California, Payal holds a BA in Economics from UC Berkeley and an MPA in Public Policy and Development Studies from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.



Where India Goes makes The Hindu's Top 10 list!

By Payal Hathi, on January 26th, 2018

The Hindu recently compiled its list of top ten non-fiction books of 2017, and Dean and Diane's Where India Goes made the list!  They write: Coffey and Spears have come out with a deeply researched and thoughtfully written book aboutRead More..


SARI in the news!

By Payal Hathi, on January 25th, 2018

We are excited that SARI findings on explicit prejudice, published in EPW last week, have received the following media coverage to date: Seema Chishti's front page article in the Indian Express - see here Scroll's coverage - see here NewsClick's interviewRead More..


Maternity benefits - not yet universal

By Payal Hathi, on March 1st, 2017

At the start of the new year, we were excited to see forward momentum on the national maternity entitlements program: the prime minister announced that the program would be made universal and cover all districts beginning January 1st, 2017 (upRead More..


New paper on the relationship between village conflict and OD

By Payal Hathi, on May 11th, 2016

Waterlines recently published Dean, Diane and my paper on the relationship between social fragmentation in villages and the persistence of open defecation in India.  We use quantitative data to show the correlation between perceptions of village conflict, both general andRead More..



Place and child health : The interaction of population density and sanitation behavior in developing countries

By Payal Hathi, on December 1st, 2016

A long literature in demography has debated the importance of place for health, especially children’s health. In this study, we assess whether the importance of dense settlement for infant mortality and child height is moderated by exposure to local sanitationRead More..


Can collective action strategies motivate behavior change to reduce open defecation in rural India?

By Payal Hathi, on May 10th, 2016

A paper by Payal, Dean, and Diane, published in Waterlines. Abstract:  The world’s remaining open defecation is increasingly concentrated in rural India. The Indian government’s efforts to reduce open defecation by providing subsidies for latrine construction have been largely unsuccessfulRead More..