Saugato Datta is a Managing Director at ideas42, where he works with partners to design, test and scale applications of behavioral science to benefit poor people in developing countries. His current projects explore the application of behavioral science to water use, violence reduction, reproductive health, immunization, family planning, agricultural finance, financial inclusion, and the design of cash transfers in countries including Madagascar, Uganda, Nepal, Ethiopia, Kenya and Mozambique. With Alaka Holla at the World Bank, he is currently working on a 4-country companion study to the 2015 World Development Report, which focuses on the measurement and consequences of behavioral biases in developing countries and the cognitive burden of accessing government services. In addition, he is working on a study of discrimination in the Indian urban housing market.
Saugato has published on discrimination in Indian labor markets, the effects of infrastructure in developing countries, HIV risk and learning, behavioral economics and development, and nudges for water conservation. Saugato has a PhD in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Delhi. Earlier, he was Economics correspondent of The Economist, where apart from writing extensively on all aspects of economics and development, he edited and contributed to the most recent edition of the Economist's Guide to Economics. He has also worked as a researcher at the World Bank.