Patralekha Ukil


Patralekha Ukil

Assistant Professor
Department of Economics


globalization, economic inequality, health outcomes, educational choices.

Current Research Activities

My primary research focus is in the field of applied microeconomics, specifically regional labor markets impacted by trade exposure, topics in health, development economics and urban economics. In recent months, I have worked on a paper which tests whether localized effects of mortgage foreclosure spillovers could multiply to larger aggregate effects across broader geographic neighborhoods. This paper uses data relevant to the San Diego housing market during the housing crisis and we find large spillover effects of foreclosures with increases in negative equity and foreclosure rates being associated with large increases in the baseline rate of new foreclosure notices. In another paper I investigate the effect of changes in local economic conditions, brought about by import competition to manufacturing industries, on existing marital unions in the United States. Allied to that is a paper on development economics that investigates the impact of increased trade with China on health outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. 


Research Connections to Current Events

My work is very directly connected to current events. There are a lot of diverging opinions on increased trade and globalization, and even though trade is generally positive for the entire economy, certain sections of society may not necessarily gain from trade. This has led to a lot of animosity and negative opinions about increased trade openness in the US. 


Personal Connections to Research

I grew up in India where trade openness led to increased growth and development for the country. However, when I came to the US for my PhD studies, I realized that views and ideas about trade and the consequences of trade were very divergent and I was also exposed to the increasing geographic and racial disparities across the US. This heavily motivated my dissertation research and subsequent agenda. I was also very inspired by my PhD advisor who is an urban economist and has worked heavily on issues related to housing and mortgage discrimination, residential and school segregation, etc.


Social Media

Google Scholar


Other Languages

Bengali (Bangla), Hindi