He bears a striking resemblance to Tamil Nadu cricketer Lakshmipathy Balaji. But, that’s where the similarity ends.
“The thing I like most in the world is being correct,” Sendhil Mullainathan, professor of economics at the Harvard University, says.
A recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” Mullainathan conducts research in the area of behavioural economics, applying it to find solutions to social problems of everyday life. He is a co-founder of the MIT Poverty Action Lab and of the think-tank Ideas42.
He went to the United States at a young age of seven to join his father, who had gone to there for his PhD.
In this freewheeling interview with DNA at the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) India conference at the Infosys campus in Mysore, Mullainathan talks about the current financial crisis, why farmers don’t like to grow sugarcane in south India, launching a financial product for pregnant women and what happens when the debt of women who sell fruits and vegetables is paid off. Excerpts from the interview: