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The extensive body of my academic work is focussed on exploring the critical determinants of individuals’ autonomy and their behaviors, such as their ability and willingness to access healthcare and medical treatment, in diverse settings.

The research projects delve into various facets of health-related behaviours, ranging from maternal dietary habits, infant feeding practices, and seeking treatment for childhood illnesses in India, to studying smoking behavior among Canadian youth. And another issue that I continue to study is gender-based violence and individual autonomy, particularly in the context of South Asia.

My academic research is guided by my interest in understanding how socio-economic factors, individual identities, public systems, and policies collectively influence individual behavior and contribute to health disparities.

Current Projects

The current research projects extend beyond individual behaviors to encompass broader issues related to inequities and discrimination in healthcare system: the delivery of Perinatal care, In this study at the Birthplace Lab, we are analyzing primary data derived from nationwide surveys of birthing people.

Our aim is to illuminate the experiences of maternity care in both Canada and the United States. Ultimately, our aim is to contribute to the development of maternity care that is respectful, safe and equitable.

.Journal Publications

Peer Reviewed



Despite a spectacular economic growth over the last three decades, there continues to be widespread malnutrition in India. Consequently, between 2005 and 2006, an alarming 43 percent of children under three years old were stunted, 48 percent were underweight, and 17 percent were wasted. Indeed, income constraints can lead to malnutrition, but government policies, cultural norms, and lack of education are also some of the many determinants of malnutrition.
Using the NFHS, I confirm that following the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on child nutrition makes a significant difference to anthropometric measures of Indian children.
Furthermore, I argue that poverty alone is not responsible for malnutrition. In fact, 20 percent of parents from the top 40 percent income group do not give supplementary solid food to their six- to eight-month-old infants, which I attribute to a lack of information on sound nutritional practices.

Aim: To examine the role of maternal diet in determining the low birth weight (LBW) in Indian infants.Methods: Data from the National Family Health Survey (2005–06) were used. Multivariate regression analysis was used to analyze the effect of maternal diet on infant birth weight.
Results: Infants whose mothers consumed milk and curd daily [odds ratio (OR), 1.17; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06–1.29]; fruits daily (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.07–1.36) or weekly (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.02–1.24) had higher odds of not having a low birth weight baby. The daily consumption of pulses and beans (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.02–1.36) increased the odds while weekly consumption of fish (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.70–0.89) decreased the odds of not having an LBW infant. Intake of iron-folic acid supplements during pregnancy increased birth weight by 6.46 g per month.
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In this paper we examine the barriers and the facilitating factors for seeking treatment for childhood diarrhoea, and determine the main causes for delay in seeking treatment. Data from Indian Demographic and Health Survey 2005-06 (NFHS-III) were used. Mothers were asked whether i) their children (<5-years) had suffered from diarrhoea during the 2 weeks preceding the survey, ii) if treatment was sought, and iii) the number of days waited to seek treatment after the diarrhoea had started. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to find the determinants of seeking treatment at the health facility and the factors responsible for the 'delay' in seeking advice/treatment.
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Why does child malnutrition persist in India? This column argues that the reason is not limited to poverty or inadequate access to food; but that a lack of knowledge about healthy nutrition plays a vital role.
Nutrition advice on feeding infants and children provided by health professionals is shown to be strongly correlated with improved feeding practices across all age groups. If information about feeding children is the key obstacle to improving nutrition, then there is hope; it will be easier to resolve the problem of scarce information than to resolve the problem of acute poverty. [go to text]

Why does child malnutrition persist in India? Amongst the fastest-growing economies over the last two decades, India has struggled to make progress in the health of its children. In this article the author argues that the reason malnutrition persists is not limited to poverty or inadequate access to food; but that a lack of nutritional knowledge amongst families plays a very important role.
Scientific Abstract Objective: Despite a rapidly growing economy and rising income levels in India, improvements in child malnutrition have lagged. Data from the most recent National Family Health Survey reveal that the infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices recommended by the WHO and the Indian Government, including the timely introduction of solid food, are not being followed by a majority of mothers in India. It is puzzling that even among rich households children are not being fed adequately. The present study analyses the socio-economic factors that contribute to this phenomenon, including the role of nutritional information. [go to paper]

The objective of this paper is to identify demographic, social and behavioural risk factors for HIV infection among men in Zambia. In particular, the role of alcohol, condom use, and the number of sex partners is highlighted as being significant in the prevalence of HIV.
The survey included socio-economic variables and HIV serostatus for consenting men (N = 4,434). The risk for HIV was positively related to wealth status. Men who considered themselves to be at high risk for HIV-positive were most likely to be HIV-positive. Respondents who, along with their sexual partner, were drunk during the last three times they had sexual intercourse, were more likely to be HIV-positive (Adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.60; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00-2.56). Men with more than two sexual life partners and inconsistent condom use had a higher risk for being HIV-positive (OR: 1.89; 95% CI: 1.45-2.46 and OR: 1.49; 95% CI: 1.10-2.02, respectively). HIV prevention programs in Zambia should focus even more on these behavioural risk factors. [go to paper]

This paper sets out a simple non-cooperative model of resource allocation within the household in developing countries that incorporates domestic violence as an instrument for enhancing bargaining power. We demonstrate that the extent of domestic violence faced by women is not necessarily declining in their reservation utilities, nor necessarily increasing in their spouses’. Using the National Family Health Survey data of India for 1998-99, we isolate the e¤ect of domestic violence on female autonomy, taking into account the possible two-way causality through the choice of appropriate instruments. We provide some evidence for the evolutionary theory of domestic violence, which argues that such violence stems from the jealousy caused by paternity uncertainty in our evolutionary past. The findings have strong policy implications suggesting that it will take more than an improvement in women's employment options to address the problem of spousal violence.[go to paper]

In order to develop effective policies and programs that reduce the number of smokers a necessary first step is to understand the determinants of starting to smoke. In this paper, we present a split-sample duration model of the decision to start smoking. We use data from the 2002 Canadian tobacco use monitoring survey. The hazard rate of starting smoking peaks sharply at age 15 and quickly declines thereafter. Our parametric estimates provide evidence that gender, education, marital status, and household size are important determinants of smoking habit. We also find that higher cigarette prices have an impact on picking up the habit, but not on the initiation age. Thus, the results highlight the importance of cigarette taxes in influencing the likelihood of smoking. [go to paper]


In this article, we analyze whether the Softwood Lumber Agreement between the United States and Canada imposed significant economic costs on industries that use softwood lumber in the United States. To ascertain this impact, we use an event study. Our event study analyzes variations in the stock prices of lumber-using firms listed at the major stock markets in the United States. We find that the news of events leading to the Softwood Lumber Agreement had significant negative impacts on the stock prices of industries using softwood lumber. The average reduction of stock prices for our sample of firms was approximately 5.42% over all the events considered. Article first published online: 20 OCT 2009 [go to paper]

The main aim is to question why we don't see more firms petitioning for import relief. It is well accepted that petitioning itself can restrain imports, lead to higher prices and hence higher profits (in the short run). What prevents more firms from filing for protection? It may be that petitioning reflects cost inefficiency on the part of the petitioning firm, and concerns about revealing this information might act as a deterrent for firms to come forward with their complaints. However, in a declining industry where a large number of firms are contemplating an exit, petitioning could be a signal that the firm expects to remain in the market for the near future. The signalling hypothesis is tested by comparing the stock market response of an antidumping petition for petitioning firms and non-petitioning firms producing the same product. link to paper unavailable.

In this article we highlight the anticompetitive nature of antidumping (AD) legislation. Antidumping legislation was set up to protect domestic firms from predatory pricing by foreign firms. We argue that protecting highly concentrated industries drastically reduces competition at home. In cases where the industry consists only of one or two firms, import restriction may breed monopolies at the expense of domestic consumers. This article looks at cases filed by the agriculture sector, and at the market concentration of industries in this sector, to illustrate the above possibility. We study the case of fresh tomatoes in detail to further demonstrate the anticompetitive nature of AD legislation. We show the effect of AD legislation on imports, as well as the change in the Lerner index in the fresh tomato industry. [go to paper]

In this paper we analyze whether U.S. Anti-Dumping (AD) duties in the agricultural sector are effective in restricting trade. More specifically, does the imposition of an antidumping duty restrict imports of the named commodity or is there a diversion in the supply of imports from countries named in the petition to countries not named in the antidumping petition? We find that AD duties have had a significant impact on the imports of agricultural commodities from the countries named in the petition. However, our results also indicate that, unlike the manufacturing sector in the US, there was little trade diversion towards countries not named in the AD petition. Our results indicate that AD is a plausible protectionist policy in the Agriculture sector.[go to paper]

We estimate the degree of trade diversion from provinces named under the Softwood Lumber Agreement(SLA) to provinces not named. Our regression results indicate that the SLA had a significant impact on the exports of non-named SLA provinces. Controlling for other factors, the SLA by itself would have increased exports from these provinces four times. The corresponding effect for the provinces named in the SLA is estimated at minus 5 percent. This decrease is not, however, statistically significant.[go to paper]


In this paper, we compare the use of antidumping (AD) measures in the agriculture sector by Canada and the United States, the two major users of antidumping procedures.1 We consider both the direct and indirect effects of the AD measure and consider what factors make an AD measure more or less successful at impeding trade and when it is more likely to cause trade diversion. Specifically, we ask when the imposition of an antidumping duty restricts imports of the targeted commodity and when is there a deflection in the supply of imports from countries named in the petition to countries not named in the antidumping petition? We compare these results for that of the US and draw conclusions about the determinants of such differences, like the exchange rate, GDP and distance to partner countries. We use a modified version of the gravity model, as used in the earlier literature (Prusa (2001)) for our analysis. We find that affirmative AD cases caused trade diversion from non-named countries for agricultural products in general, but that trade diversion was particularly strong for perishable products. We also find that the more concentrated the imports, the more restrictive the AD duties.[go to paper]


I am always happy to collaborate with like-minded researchers  Please feel free to reach out.You can also find more information about me, including my full CV, in the usual bio section and here is the link to Google Scholar Profile