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.



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..


30,000 babies in UP

By Payal Hathi, on February 29th, 2016

  Neonatal mortality is the number of babies, per 1000 live births, that die in the first 28 days of life.  Postneonatal mortality is the number of babies, per 1000 live births, that die between 29 days and a year.  Infant mortalityRead More..


Reflections on the SBM and maternity entitlements

By Payal Hathi, on January 21st, 2016

Rahul Jacob wrote a piece today in the Business Standard, highlighting r.i.c.e.’s research and calling on the government to convince people to use latrines if the SBM is to have any impact on public health, rather than simply meeting latrineRead 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..