Anirudh Krishna

Anirudh Krishna

Professor of Political Science

External Address: 
212 Sanford Inst Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90245, Durham, NC 27708-0245
(919) 613-7337
Comparative Politics, Political Institutions

Anirudh Krishna is a professor of public policy and political science at Duke University. His research investigates how poor communities and individuals in developing countries cope with the structural and personal constraints that result in poverty and powerlessness. His most recent book, One Illness Away: Why People Become Poor and How they Escape Poverty (Oxford University Press, 2010), examines poverty dynamics at the household level, tracking movements into and out of poverty of over 35,000 households in 400 communities of India, Kenya, Uganda, Peru and North Carolina, USA.Krishna has published more than 40 journal articles and book chapters. Other books include Poverty, Participation and Democracy: A Global Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2008); Active Social Capital: Tracing the Roots of Development and Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2002); Changing Policy and Practice From Below: Community Experiences in Poverty Reduction (United Nations Press, 2000); Reasons for Success: Learning From Instructive Experiences in Rural Development (Kumarian Press, 1998), and Reasons for Hope: Instructive Experiences in Rural Development (Kumarian Press, 1997).Before turning to academia, Krishna worked for 14 years in the Indian Administrative Service, where he managed diverse initiatives related to rural and urban development. He earned a Ph.D. in government from Cornell University (2000) and a master's in economics from the Delhi  School of Economics (1980).


  • Ph.D., Cornell University 2000
  • M.A., Delhi School of Economics 1980
  • B.A., University of Delhi (India) 1978

Krishna, A., and S. Nolan. “Synthetic Fathers and Real Consequences: Social Mobility Research in Transition.” Journal of Development Studies, vol. 55, no. 4, 3 Apr. 2019, pp. 737–42. Scopus, doi:10.1080/00220388.2018.1549787. Full Text

Krishna, A. “Rural-urban inequality and poverty.” Inequality in Economics and Sociology: New Perspectives, 2017, pp. 162–73. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9781315558936. Full Text

Krishna, A. “Poverty knowledge and poverty action in India.” The State in India after Liberalization: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 2010, pp. 111–32. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9780203846858. Full Text

Krishna, A. “Subjective Assessments, Participatory Methods, and Poverty Dynamics.” Poverty Dynamics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 2009. Scopus, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557547.003.0008. Full Text

Krishna, A., and J. A. Booth. “Conclusion: Implications for policy and research.” Poverty, Participation, and Democracy, 2008, pp. 147–60. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9780511756160.008. Full Text

Krishna, A. “Introduction: Poor people and democracy.” Poverty, Participation, and Democracy, 2008, pp. 1–27. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9780511756160.003. Full Text

Krishna, A. “Do poor people care less for democracy? Testing individual-level assumptions with individual-level data from India.” Poverty, Participation, and Democracy, 2008, pp. 65–93. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9780511756160.005. Full Text

Krishna, A. “Politics in the middle: Mediating relationships between the citizens and the state in rural North India.” Patrons, Clients, and Policies: Patterns of Democratic Accountability and Political Competition, 2007, pp. 141–58. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9780511585869.006. Full Text

Krishna, A., and T. Agrawal. “Food subsidy in cash or kind? The wrong debate.” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 54, no. 32, Aug. 2019, pp. 39–43.

Iversen, V., et al. “Beyond Poverty Escapes - Social Mobility in Developing Countries: A Review Article.” World Bank Research Observer, vol. 34, no. 2, Aug. 2019, pp. 239–73. Scopus, doi:10.1093/wbro/lkz003. Full Text

Krishna, A. “Obstacles to social mobility in India—and the way forward.” Current History, vol. 118, no. 807, Apr. 2019, pp. 123–29. Open Access Copy

Rains, E., et al. “Combining satellite and survey data to study Indian slums: evidence on the range of conditions and implications for urban policy.” Environment and Urbanization, vol. 31, no. 1, Apr. 2019, pp. 267–92. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0956247818798744. Full Text

Smith, Emily R., et al. “The contribution of pediatric surgery to poverty trajectories in Somaliland..” Plos One, vol. 14, no. 7, 2019. Pubmed, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0219974. Full Text

Krishna, Anirudh. “Globalised Growth in Largely Agrarian Contexts: The Urban–Rural Divide.” Esid Working Paper, no. 101, Sept. 2018.

Krishna, Anirudh. “Why Representation Matters: The Meaning of Ethnic Quotas in Rural India. By Simon Chauchard. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 292p. $99.99 cloth..” Perspectives on Politics, vol. 16, no. 1, Cambridge University Press (CUP), Mar. 2018, pp. 258–60. Crossref, doi:10.1017/s1537592717003528. Full Text

Krishna, A., and S. Agarwal. “Promoting Social Mobility in India: Modes of Action and Types of Support Organizations.” Journal of South Asian Development, vol. 12, no. 3, Dec. 2017, pp. 236–58. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0973174117733429. Full Text

Krishna, Anirudh, and Swapnil Agarwal. Promoting Social Mobility in India. Vol. 12, no. 3, Dec. 2017, pp. 236–58.

Iversen, V., et al. “Rags to riches? Intergenerational occupational mobility in India.” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 52, no. 44, Nov. 2017, pp. 107–14.


Gadiraju, K. K., et al. “Machine learning approaches for slum detection using very high resolution satellite images.” Ieee International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, Icdmw, vol. 2018-November, 2019, pp. 1397–404. Scopus, doi:10.1109/ICDMW.2018.00198. Full Text

Krishna, A. S., et al. “Color edge detection for noisy images by nonlinear prefiltering and block-by-block rotations.” 2015 International Conference on Communication and Signal Processing, Iccsp 2015, 2015, pp. 1262–67. Scopus, doi:10.1109/ICCSP.2015.7322710. Full Text

Krishna, Anirudh. “The Stages-of-Progress Methodology and Results from Five Countries.” Reducing Global Poverty: The Case for Asset Accumulation, edited by C. O. N. Moser, BROOKINGS INST, 2007, pp. 62–79.

Selected Grants

Organizing Voluntary Action in Support of Poverty Reduction awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2001 to 2002