Immigrant Profile: Raghuram Rajan


Raghuram Govind Rajan was born in Bhopal, India on February 3, 1963, the third child of a former Indian intelligence officer, R. Govindarajan, and his wife. Rajan attended the Delhi Public School—R. K. Puram and went on to complete his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, where he earned the Director’s Gold Medal in 1985 for best all-around student. He also earned an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad in 1987.

Immigration to the United States

Rajan migrated to the United States to enter the Ph.D. program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He successfully completed his dissertation in 1991, Essays on Banking, and was awarded his doctorate in management.

Professional Background & Achievements

Rajan received a number of awards, including the inaugural 2003 Fischer Black Prize, awarded by the American Finance Association. The award, granted every two years, is given to young economists for exceptional work in finance. He was also awarded the 2010 Financial Times/Goldman-Sachs Business Book of the Year for his book Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy. Rajan is currently the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Contributions to the U.S. Economy

Rajan has made several contributions in the field of economics for the United States, including his prediction of the 2007–2008 economic crisis and the financial turmoil the United States experienced from 2008 to 2012. Initially ridiculed for his predictions, he was vindicated when the crisis emerged in both the United States and Europe, solidifying his place among world economists. In 2016, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

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