Development Economics, Sustainable Development, Technological Change, Financial Sector Reforms, International Economics, Trade Liberalization, Trade and Development Issues, Applied Microeconomics


Sunder Ramaswamy is the Frederick C. Dirks Professor of International Economics at Middlebury and former president of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Purdue University in 1991, an M.A. in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, and B.A. (Honors) in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, India. His principal fields of specialization are Development Economics, International Economics, Issues in Applied Microeconomics and Quantitative Methods.

Over the years he had held visiting positions at the Madras School of Economics (Chennai, India, including a position as the Director of the institute from 2003-2005), Vanderbilt University, Institute of Financial Management and Research, (Chennai, India), Purdue University, and the World Bank. He has been involved with World Bank projects on various aspects of economic reforms in India. In the past he has also been associated with USAID and INTSORMIL projects on agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa. He has received grants from the S.W. Davis Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the Kellogg Foundation to support his academic work. He has also been a consultant to UNCTAD and UNIDO on specific projects. His most recent projects include being part of a multi-country multi-disciplinary effort to 'Harmonize nutrient based food and dietary standards', with a particular emphasis on what this implies from a ‘trade and development’ perspective. The project has been conducted under the auspices of the United Nations University with guidance from the FAO and WHO. He is also involved with a project detailing the options and mechanisms for a ‘Betterment Levy’ along the Information Technology corridor coming up near the city of Chennai, India.

His teaching interests include Development Economics, International Economics, and Microeconomic Theory. He has received a number of awards and recognitions for his teaching at both Purdue University and Middlebury College, including the “Marjorie Lamberti Faculty Appreciation Award” in 2003. He has also served as advisor/reader to over 80 undergraduate honors theses in Economics, International Politics &Economics, and International Studies; over 20 Masters’ theses; and has been associated with over 20 award-winning theses.

His research interests are in the areas of development economics (focus on sustainable development, technological change, and financial sector reforms), international economics (trade liberalization, trade and development issues), and applied microeconomics. His co-edited books include Development and Democracy: New Perspectives on an Old Debate, with Jeffrey Cason (University Press of New England, 2003) and Social Capital and Economic Development: Well-Being in Developing Countries, with Jonathan Isham and Thomas Kelly, (Edward Elgar Publishers, 2002). He was also one of the Series editors (with Michael Geisler and Neil Waters) of the Middlebury College Bicentennial Series on International Studies published by the University Press of New England (1999-2004). His other books include The Economics of Agricultural Technology in Semiarid Sub-Saharan Africa, with John H. Sanders and Barry I. Shapiro (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, 1997); Economics: An Honors Companion,with Kailash Khandke, Jenifer Gamber and David Colander (MaxiPress, Richard D. Irwin Publishers, 1995).

His papers have been presented at international conferences in Austria, Canada, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, and Zimbabwe. He has also given over 85 talks in numerous invited seminars, and conference/workshop settings in India and USA. He has contributed many chapters in various books and articles either published or forthcoming in journals such as Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Systems, Applied Economics, Comparative Economic Studies, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Economics Letters, Environment, Food and Nutrition Bulletin, Journal of Development Economics,and Outlook on Agriculture.

Articles featuring him and/or his views on various economics topics have appeared in the popular (Indian and International) media such as, Asia Times Online, The Deccan Chronicle, The Diplomatist, The Economic Times, Education World, The Hindu, India Today, Industrial Economist, The New Indian Express,, Time(Asia & Europe editions),and Vermont Public Radio.

He served as the Chair of the economics department for three terms from 1996 – 2003 with a break for a sabbatical (2000-01). He also served on the task force that created the College's International Studies major and takes active part in the International Politics and Economics, and East Asian Studies programs. He served as Chair of the Academic Committee and as a member of the Steering Committee of the College’s Bicentennial Celebrations (1998-2000). He has also served as an elected member of the College’s Promotions Committee (2002-2003), Council of Senior Faculty Review (2001-2002), Educational Affairs Committee (2005-2006; 1998-2000), Faculty Council (1996-1998), and the Educational Council (1992-1994).
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