Debraj Ray

Silver Professor; Professor of Economics

Ph.D. 1983 (economics), M.A. 1981 (economics), Cornell University; B.A. 1977 (economics), University of Calcutta.

Office Address: 

Department of Economics
New York University
19 W. 4th Street, 6FL
New York, NY 10012

Personal Homepage:

Areas of Research/Interest: 

Development economics, microeconomic theory, game theory, Income Distribution, Inequality and Polarization, Coalition Formation in Games

External Affiliations:

Research Affiliate, Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC), Barcelona; Member, American Economic Association; Member, Econometric Society.


Debraj Ray, Professor of Economics at NYU, has made diverse and eclectic contributions to the field of economics. His areas of research include welfare economics, development economics, game theory and the study of inequality and polarization. His 848-page textbook, Development Economics, has been widely praised as the best of its kind and is required reading at universities around the world. Ray earned his B.A. from Presidency College, University of Calcutta in 1977 and his M.A. from Cornell in 1981. In 1983 he received his Ph.D. from Cornell and has held many teaching and research positions since then: at Stanford, the Indian Statistical Institute, and as Director of Boston University's Institute for Economic Development. Visiting professorships include Harvard, MIT and the London School of Economics, and positions in Brazil, Spain, China and Kuwait. His outstanding scholarly achievements, exceptional teaching, and noted service to the profession have been corroborated by his receiving numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, an appointment as a Fellow of the Econometric Society and several teaching awards. Ray has established himself as one of the nation's most productive and creative theorists. He has been a Professor of Economics at NYU since 1999.


Guggenheim Fellow, 1997; Fellow of the Econometric Society, since 1993; Medal of the Indian National Science Academy for Outstanding Young Scientists (subarea: mathematics), 1988; Mahalanobis Medal of the Indian Econometric Society, 1989; Gittner Teaching Award (Boston University), 1996; Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching (Stanford), 1986.

Silver Dialogues Essay

In these notes, I attempt to outline and discuss questions of some importance in my field of research. In doing this, I am faced with a dilemma: I work, although not with frequent success, in more than one field. With some simplification, it is probably fair to say that I am currently pursuing two lines of research, one having to do with the study of income and wealth distribution, and the other addressing collective action and group formation. Providing an account of the many interesting questions in both these areas of research would make for a large, unwieldy and generally rambling document. So I have decided to restrict the scope of this essay to particular aspects of my research on income distribution. However, I invite you to visit my homepage, which stores all my research, including working papers on the different topics that currently interest me. Read More...

Updated on 04/18/2012