Rajiv Sethi

Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Economics

Rajiv Sethi joined the faculty of Barnard in 1995. In addition to his teaching duties for the Barnard economics department, he is a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) at Columbia, and regularly teaches graduate courses in Columbia's economics department and the School of International and Public Affairs. He is also an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute.

Professor Sethi's teaching includes courses in financial economics, the economics of inequality, and mathematical methods. His recent research deals with credit derivatives and sovereign default, the dynamics of beliefs on networks, the economics of crime, and persistent inequality between social groups. He has also worked on the evolution of social norms and interdependent preferences, decision-making under bounded rationality, and the dynamics of asset prices in financial markets.

Selected Publications

"Witness Intimidation" (with Brendan O'Flaherty), Journal of Legal Studies, June 2010.

"The Racial Geography of Street Vice" (with Brendan O'Flaherty), Journal of Urban Economics, May 2010.

"Why Have Robberies Become Less Frequent but More Violent?" (with Brendan O'Flaherty). Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization, October 2009.

"Statistical Discrimination with Peer Effects: Can Integration Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?" (with Shubham Chaudhuri), Review of Economic Studies, April 2008.

"Crime and Segregation" (with Brendan O'Flaherty ), Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, November 2007.

"Inequality and Segregation" (with Rohini Somanathan), Journal of Political Economy, December 2004.

"Evolutionary Stability in a Reputational Model of Bargaining" (with Dilip Abreu),Games and Economic Behavior, August 2003.

"Preference Evolution and Reciprocity" (with E. Somanathan), Journal of Economic Theory, April 2001.

"Stability of Equilibria in Games with Procedurally Rational Players," Games and Economic Behavior, July 2000.

"The Strategic Advantage of Negatively Interdependent Preferences" (with Levent Koçkesen and Efe A. Ok), Journal of Economic Theory, June 2000.

"Evolution of Interdependent Preferences in Aggregative Games" (with Levent Koçkesen and Efe A. Ok), Games and Economic Behavior, May 2000.

The Distribution of Pollution: Community Characteristics and Exposure to Air Toxics (with Nancy Brooks), Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, February 1997.

"The Evolution of Social Norms in Common Property Resource Use" (with E. Somanathan), American Economic Review, September 1996.

"Endogenous Regime Switching in Speculative Markets," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, March 1996.

"Evolutionary Stability and Social Norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, January 1996.

"The Evolutionary Dynamics of Financial Practices," Metroeconomica, October 1995.

"Behavioral Heterogeneity Under Evolutionary Pressure: Macroeconomic Implications of Costly Optimization" (with Reiner Franke), Economic Journal, May 1995.

Financial economics
Economics of crime
Economics of inequality


B.S. in Mathematics, University of Southampton

Ph.D. in Economics, New School for Social Research

In the News

Economics professor considers regulators’ enforcement of securities laws

Economics professor's work highlighted in The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and other news outlets