Profile: Kusum Mundra

Associate Professor of Economics

Center for Migration and the Global City, Department of Economics, Global Urban Studies/Urban Systems Ph.D., Program in Women's and Gender Studies


Kusum Mundra is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Rutgers University Newark.  She received her Ph.D in Economics from the University of California, Riverside and an M.A. from Delhi School of Economics.  Her research interests are Applied Econometrics, Immigration and International Migration, Gender and Minority Population, Terrorism and Conflict.

She has worked on issues ranging from the effect of immigrant networks and immigrant diasporas on trade, role of social networks on immigrant earnings, access to healthcare for immigrant women, empirical investigation of suicide bombing events and semiparametric panel data estimation.  Her current research includes gender pay gap in the U.S., immigrant housing in the U.S. and Spain, role of immigrant networks in conflict, immigrant assimilation and trade creation, and nonparametric panel data estimation.  Her research has been published in various economic journals including the American Economic Review- Papers and Proceedings, Demography, Journal of International Trade and Economic Development, Terrorism and Political Violence, Review of International Economics, International Trade Journal, the Handbook of Applied Econometrics and Statistical Inferences, and the Frontiers of Economics and Globalization – Migration and Culture.  Before joining Rutgers she was an Assistant Professor at San Diego State University and worked in economic litigation consulting at NERA Economic Consulting in NYC.  

She is a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) at Bonn.

  • Courses Taught

    • Statistical Methods (Large Section 100- 150 students) 2008 –2014
    • Introduction to Econometrics (undergraduate) 2009 - 2010
    • Women in the Economy (undergraduate)  2011- 2012
    • Graduate Econometrics 1 (PhD and MA level)  2010, 2012 - 2014
    • Economics of Immigration and Gender (PhD and MA level) 2010



     PhD Committee Member

    Hyun Gon Kim, International Business, Rutgers Business School (in progress)

    Tanu Kohli, Division of Global Affairs (University Lecturer at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)

    Irfan Ciftci, Division of Global Affairs (Turkish National Police)

    Daewoong Choo, Division of Global Affairs (Research Fellow at Samsung Economic Research Institute, South Korea)


    Undergraduate Researchers

    Diego Lafuente (Admitted to Columbia Law School)

    Victor Castaneda (Federal Reserve Bank New York)

    Amad Saulat (Math M.A. Program, NJIT)




  • Education

    Ph.D. University of California, Riverside, June 2001

    M.A. Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India, 1995

    B.Sc. with Honors in Economics, St. Xaviers College, Kolkata, India, 1993

  • Publications

    Selected Publications:

    “Immigrant-Based Networks and the U.S. Bilateral Trade: Role of Immigrant Occupation” forthcoming in the International Trade Journal April 2014.

    “Direct and Dual Elasticities of Substitution under Non-homogenous Technology and Nonparametric Distribution” Indian Growth and Development Review, 6(2). November 2013.

    “Immigrant Homeownership and Immigration Status: Evidence from Spain” with Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes Review of International Economics,21(2), January 2013.

    “Immigrant Networks and the U.S. Bilateral Trade: Role of Immigrant Income,” in Gil S. Epstein and Ira N. Gang (ed.) Migration and Culture (Frontiers of Economics and Globalization, Volume 8), Emerald Publishers, Dec 2010.

    “Is the Downturn in Maquiladora Employment Cyclical or Structural,” with Jim Gerber in the Indian Growth and Development Review, Spring 2010.

    “Social Networks and Their Impact on the Employment and Earnings of Mexican Immigrants,” with Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, Demography, November 2007.

    “Suicide Bombing As A Strategic Instrument of Protest: an Empirical Investigation of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” with Dipak K. Gupta, in Terrorism and Political Violence, December 2005.

    “Immigration and International Trade: a Semiparametric Empirical Investigation,” in the Journal of International Trade and Economic Development, 14(1), March 2005.

    "Impact of Immigration on Prenatal Care use and Birth Weight: Evidence from California in the 1990s,” with Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes in American Economic Review-Papers and Proceedings May 2003.

    “Investigating Hispanic Under Representation in Managerial and Professional Occupations,” with Andrew Moellmer and Waldo Lopez-Aqueres in the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science, 25(4), 2003.

    “Semiparametric Panel Data Estimation: An Approach to Immigrant Homelink Effect on U.S. Producer Trade Flows,” with Aman Ullah, in Handbook of Applied Econometrics and Statistical Inferences, Marcel Dekker, 2001.

    “Parametric and Semi-Parametric Estimation of the Effect of Firm Attributes on Efficiency: The Electricity Generating Sector in India,” with Madhu Khanna and Aman Ullah, Journal of International Trade and Economic Development, 8(4),1999.



  • Research Initiatives

    Kusum Mundra is affiliated with the Center Migration and the Global City, Women and Gender Studies, Division of Global Affairs, and Peace and Conflict Studies at Rutgers Newark. She is a research fellow at IZA (Institute for the Study of Labor), Bonn since 2009.


    Working Papers:

    “Skyscrapper Height and the Business Cycle: Seperating Myth from Reality,” with Jason Barr and Bruce Mizrach. revise and resubmit

    “Housing Quality Gap for Minorities and Immigrants in the U.S.: Evidence from the 2009 American Housing Survey” with Amarendra Sharma revise and resubmit

    How did Minorities and Immigrants Fare in the Recent Housing Market?” under review

    “Determinants of Immigrant Homeownership: Examining their Changing Role during the Great Recession and Beyond” with Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere, under review


    Work in Progress:

     “Gender Wage Gap Trends in the U.S.: Can we blame it all on the Gender Accumulated Labor Market Intermittency Gap? A conditional mean and quantile evidence from the PSID over 1984 - 2005”

    “‘Going Solo’: Gender Homeownership Gap and the Role of Education with Ruth Uwaifo-Oyelere”

    “Immigration Diversity, Group Inequality and Social Conflict”

    “Diaspora, Migration, and Trade: the Indian Diaspora in the World”

    “Nonparametric Marginal Effect for Fixed Effect Panel Model”


    Recent Seminar and Conference Presentations

    2014: Invited Seminar, Department of Economics, Bard College, NY; American Economic Association, Philadelphia

     2013: Eastern Economic Association; Invited Seminar at Department of Economics, University of Manchester, UK; Population Association of America Meetings, New Orleans

    2012: Western Economic Association Meetings, San Diego; 12th Jan Tinbergen European Peace Science Conference Berlin; Eastern Economic Association Meetings Boston


  • Awards

    Competitive Research Council Grants, Rutgers University

    2009/2010, 2010/2011, 2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015

    FASN Travel Award, Rutgers University-Newark, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013

    Rutgers RU FAIR Grant, for the collaborative proposal “Peer-Mentoring for Female Early Career Researchers at Rutgers University, Newark Campus”, February 2010

    UT Dallas Terrorism Conference small NSF award for collaborative proposal “Ruling Elites, Terrorism, and Choice of Violence” –September 2010

    Summer Faculty Award, Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, Rutgers University 2009