Anand Murugesan


research, teaching & other updates here.

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Anand Murugesan
Associate Professor of Economics

Department of Public Policy
Central European University, Vienna
C-403, Quellenstraße 51, 1100 Wien
Phone: +43.1.25230.2054 Twitter: @tapasiva


Affiliate Faculty: Social Mind Center and Democracy Institute

Senior Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies Vienna (Insights Austria)

Here is a link to my CV


Workshop on “Uncovering the Historical Mechanisms of Persistence”

Demystifying causal inference (availabe on Amazon)


Fields of Interest

Development Public Economics
Political Behavior Experimental Economics

Current projects

From Enlightenment to Cameralism: Compliance and Tax Morale as Imperial Legacy, with Michael Dorsch

Valuing Democracy, with Jean-Robert Tyran

Give or Take: Experimental examination of bribery vs. extortion, with Robert Innes

Emotions in Politics, with Jorg Matthes, Andreas Nanz & Jean-Robert Tyran [as part of the EU Horizon-funded project on Standing up for Democracies]

Conflicts, markets, and social costs, with Jitendra Singh

Let them play games! Experimental methods to elicit social norms, with Mahendran Chokkalingam, Christophe Heintz and Mia Karabegovic

The sticky self and the icky other! Using coordination games to elicit self-image signals with C. Heintz and M. Karabegovic

Comparing the response variance between the many-to-one and one-to-one norm elicitation method

Yes, in my backyard! An empirical study of citizen efforts for environmental restoration, with T. Centofanti


Demystifying causal inference: Public Policy Applications with R (2023), with Vikram Dayal, Springer


“Leader and citizens participation for the environment: Experimental evidence from Eastern Europe,” with Tiziana Centofanti, Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, October 2022 Replication files on Mendeley Data

Drain on your health: Sanitation externalities from dirty drains in India,” with Vikram Dayal and Tauhidur Rahman, Review of Development Economics, November 2022 Replication files on Mendeley Data

“Air Pollution Trade-Offs in Developing Countries: An Empirical Model of Health Effects in Goa, India,” with Sanghamitra Das, Vikram Dayal and Uma Rajarathnam, Environment and Development Economics, June 2021 Replication files

“Electoral clientelism and vote buying,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, 2020

“Use of Weather Information for Agricultural Decision Making,” with George Frisvold, Weather, Climate and Society, 5, January Issue, 55-69, 2013.

Working papers

Markets For Children: International Adoptions, IVF, and U.S. Foster Care,” with Robert Innes (under review)

The puzzling practice of paying cash for votes with Jean-Robert Tyran (forthcoming, Elgar Encyclopedia of Public Choice)


Understanding our Political Nature: How to put knowledge and reason at the heart of political decision-making, author of the economics team report with Martina Barjaková and Michael Vlassopoulos, 2019

Recent and upcoming presentations/research visits

Annual Conference on Economic Growth and Development (18 - 20 December, 2023)

Workshop on “Uncovering the Historical Mechanisms of Persistence (18 - 19 January, 2024)

Econ CAKE talk, University of Utah (February 23, 2024)

EUBA Experiments in Development Workshop, Bratislava (March 21, 2024)

European Public Choice Society Meeting (April 2 - 5, 2024)

Vikram Dayal Michael Dorsch
Robert Innes Jean-Robert Tyran


Central European University, Vienna

Winter 2024 (upcoming)

Advanced Impact Evaluation

Fall 2023

Microeconomics, Behavior, and Public Policy

Impact Evaluation: Policy Applications with R


PhD, University of Maryland, College Park
MA, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
BCom, Bangalore University (St. Joseph’s College)

Born 1980, Bangalore, Indian citizenship

Various and sundry

From December 2023 to February 2024, I’ll mostly be shuttling (actually, riding or pillion riding a motorbike) across the Tamil Nadu and Kerala border (Palakkad-Pollachi), conducting fieldwork for the Valuing Democracy project. Some stills from the field:

Debriefing and training enumerators at the field office in Vengodi, Palakkad. Our go-to lunch place is Hotel Venkatesh Bhavan, which uses a wood-fired stove for cooking and redolent of Malgudi Days.

Interviewing a local politician with Libin and stopping for the famed Ramasseri idli with Sreenivasan Ji. Is it an idli or a dosa?

An impromptu discussion at a tea stall (with the stall owner, an insightful, white-bearded, old friend of Sreenivasan Ji’s father) and the trusted Honda that gets us around.

An inspiring visit to the Khadi cottage industry next door (we bought handmade fabric for made-to-fit shirts by a local tailor) and taking in the moment with a view of the Silent Valley.

You can find fieldwork pictures on our Greening the Margin project here and my sketch (below) of a bestselling book my daughter recommended I read, and I recommend you do; it’s a short read.

A dated picture of traditional seed sowing on my parents’ farm in Tamil Nadu, India (below, on the left) and me breaking traditions (on the right).

My brother worked on the effect of angular momentum or spin velocity in the formation of galaxies; more recently on examining the interactive effect of angular momentum and gravitation in the formation of celestial bodies. My brother lives in the part of the world where, in theory, water flowing down the drain is expected to spin in the opposite direction compared to the drains in parts I am in… ;)

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.” - Richard Feynman at Caltech, 1974

Excerpt from my 2015 Research Statement, which continues to hold today (I've mixed feelings about this consistency): `` ...The underlying theme of my research is throwing light on issues of society, where individual interest and a larger collective bargain are divergent ...and seeing how institutional arrangements, legal or economic, can improve individual incentives for better collective outcomes..."