Rikhil Bhavnani

  • Assistant Professor of Economics
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison



Rikhil R. Bhavnani is an Assistant Professor and Trice Faculty Fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a faculty affiliate at the La Folette School of Public Affairs and the Center for South Asia.

Professor Bhavnani’s research and teaching focus on inequalities in political representation and corruption among politicians, particularly in South Asia. Other projects examine the effects of migration on political participation and violence in India, the role of the Great Depression in helping India, Pakistan and Bangladesh secure their political independence, the selection and impact of leaders, and the effects of foreign aid on economic growth. His research is characterized by a close attention to causality and by interests in political and economic development. His papers have been published in the American Political Science Review and The Economic Journal.

Prior to starting at UW-Madison, Professor Bhavnani was a visiting fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University. He has worked at the Center for Global Development and the International Monetary Fund, and received a PhD in political science and an MA in economics from Stanford University.