Professor Barbara Harriss-White

Senior Research Fellow, School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies; Professor Emeritus of Development Studies; Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College


Professor Harriss-White’s research interests have developed from the economics of agricultural markets to India’s socially regulated capitalist economy and corporate capital; and from the malnutrition caused by markets to many other aspects of deprivation: notably poverty, gender bias and gender relations, health and disability, destitution and caste discrimination. She has a long term interest in agrarian change in southern India and has also tracked the economy of a market town there since 1972.

She held academic posts at Oxford from 1987 until her retirement in 2011. Since then she has directed an ESRC-DFID research project entitled Resources, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Technology And Work In Production And Distribution Systems: Rice In India.

She has been an adviser to the UK’S Department of International Development (DfID) and to seven UN organisations; as well as a trustee of the International Food Policy Research Institute and of Norway's Institute for Environment and Development.


  • Political economy of India
  • Poverty and social welfare (malnutrition, poverty, disability, destitution, sex-biased development, discrimination against dalits), especially in South Asia
  • Long-term village studies and agrarian transformation
  • Primary field research

Media experience

Professor Harriss-White has media experience.