Essex economist becomes Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

  • Date

    Mon 28 Sep 20

Sonia Bhalotra

Essex economist Professor Sonia Bhalotra has been made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Fellowships are awarded each year to those who have made a substantial contribution to wider social science – they are leading figures in their field and Professor Bhalotra’s appointment means there are now 21 Fellows from Essex.

Professor Bhalotra’s research areas include global health, gender, the economics of the family and political representation. She was recently awarded a European Research Council Advanced Grant and is Co-Investigator on two major ESRC-funded progammes at Essex- the Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (ISER) and the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology project (Law).

The topics of her research include understanding the creation of human capital, the long run benefits of early life health interventions (including antibiotics, water chlorination, home visiting programmes), universal health coverage, maternal depression, maternal mortality, domestic violence, access to safe abortion, the gender pay gap, equal inheritance rights for women, the political economy of public service provision and intergenerational mobility. Her research has been carried out in India, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, America, the UK and Sweden.

She has strived to make a difference. Her research on a child health intervention in Sweden has drawn the attention of the National Board of Health and been cited in an election campaign. The intervention for maternal depression in Pakistan has been adopted by the WHO and advocated for global uptake. This research has also led the government in Pakistan to include mental health in their community-based health programme. Her evaluation of walk-in centres in Brazil is currently being discussed at the Ministry of Health, and she has set up a collaboration with the Ministry of Justice in Brazil for her research on domestic violence.