department of economics

Chafee Hall, Room 806, 10 Chafee Road, Kingston, RI 02881


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Smita Ramnarain

  • Assistant Professor
  • 812 Chafee Office Hours; Tu & Th 9:30-10:30, W 12:30-1:30 and By Appointment
  • Email:
  • Office Location: 812 Chafee Social Science Center
    Dept. of Economics
    University of Rhode Island
    Kingston RI 02881


SMITA RAMNARAIN has received her PhD in Economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA. She has also completed a graduate certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies from UMass. Prior to joining URI, she was Assistant Professor at Siena College, Albany NY. Her research interests lie at the intersection of political economy, development, and feminist economics. Her work focuses on the gendered political economy of development in the global South, particularly in South Asia, with a specific focus on post-conflict reconstruction. She is also interested in issues around labor informality, social protection, and the climate adaptation of vulnerable communities. Her work has been published in diverse and interdisciplinary fora such as Feminist Economics, Gender Place & Culture, and the Community Development Journal, and in edited volumes. Since carrying out fieldwork in Nepal for her PhD dissertation, Smita has also been interested in research methodologies within economics, using both qualitative and quantitative methods in her work. Professor Ramnarain teaches ECN 201: Principles of Microeconomics, ECN: 202: Principles of Macroeconomics, and ECN 363: Economic Development at URI.


Political economy of social inequality (race, class, and gender), economic development, the economics of war and peace, and microfinance.


PhD, University of Massachusetts, 2012


‘Unpacking Female Headship and Agency in Post-Conflict Nepal.’ Feminist Economics, 2016, 22(1), 80-105 .

‘Universalized Categories, Dissonant Realities: Gendering Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Nepal.’ Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 2015, 22(9), 1305-1322.

‘Interrogating Women’s Peace Work: Community-based Peacebuilding, Gender, and Savings’ Co-operatives in Post-conflict Nepal.’ Community Development Journal, 2015, 50(4), 677-692.

‘The political economy of peacebuilding: The case of women’s cooperatives in Nepal.’ Economics of Peace and Security Journal, 2013, 8(2), 25-33.

(with Amit Basole) ‘Qualitative and Ethnographic Methods in Economics.’ In Lee, Fred and Bruce Cronin (eds.), Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Heterodox Economics, Edward Elgar, 2016.

(with Lynda Pickbourn) ‘Separate or Symbiotic? Quantitative, Qualitative and Historical Methods in (Heterodox) Economic Research.’ In Lee, Fred and Bruce Cronin (eds.), Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Heterodox Economics, Edward Elgar, 2016.

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