Suraj Shekhar Post Doctoral Research Fellow, AIFMRM, University of Cape Town

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Welcome to my Homepage! I am a graduate (2016) of the doctoral program in Economics at The Pennsylvania State University. My primary research interest is in Microeconomics and its applications to Industrial Organization and Development Economics. Currently, I am a post doctoral research fellow at the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Working Papers

What's in a Name? Reputation and Monitoring in the Audit Market PDF Internet Appendix

with Somdutta Basu

We demonstrate a tension between monitoring and reputation incentives when moving from collective reputation environments to individual reputation environments by analyzing a new rule. After January 2017, the name of the engagement partner has to be disclosed in all audit reports issued in the USA. We study the resulting change in auditor incentives and show that while the consequent higher reputation incentives can improve audit quality, partners have a lower incentive to monitor other partners when names are disclosed. This may lead to a fall in audit quality when the rule is implemented. We present several solutions to this problem.

Signalling, Reputation and Spinoffs PDF Internet Appendix

I propose a new channel of spinoff (firm formed when an employee leaves to form his own firm) formation in which the returns from spinning off are determined endogenously. If high ability workers are scarce, then despite the principal's ability to offer contracts to make the worker stay (endogenous cost of signalling), there exists a separating equilibrium where the high type worker signals his ability by forming a spinoff. This result provides theoretical support to the empirical findings of Skogstrom (2012). When moral hazard is introduced in the baseline model of adverse selection, I show that the spinoff equilibrium can generate the strongest incentives to work. This has policy implications for non-compete clauses.

Ethnic Conflicts with Informed Agents: A Cheap Talk Game with Multiple Audiences and Private Signals PDFInternet Appendix

with Pathikrit Basu and Souvik Dutta

Consider a society with two ethnicities where an ethnic conflict may break out if enough players from any one ethnicity decide to fight. There are two states of the world - a `bad' state in which conflict is inevitable due to the high number of behavioural players who always fight and a `good' state in which conflict can be avoided. People have `pessimistic' beliefs (they believe that the bad state is very likely) which causes them to fight, thereby making conflict inevitable. An `informed agent' is a player who has private information about the state of the world. We analyze a cheap talk game with multiple audiences (ethnicities) and private signals and determine conditions under which the informed agent can achieve peace by sending private messages to players of both ethnicities. Since the informed agent is known to be biased towards her own ethnicity, she is unable to communicate credibly with the other ethnicity. This is a big limitation since conflict cannot be avoided if even one ethnicity decides to fight. Despite this, we show that peace can be achieved as long as the informed agent can communicate with many players.

Work in Progress

Theory papers

The Impact of Spinoffs on Parent firms

Empirical papers

Returns to English Speaking Ability in India

Informal Contacts in Hiring: The Case of the Economics Job Market (with Michael Rose)

Self Help Groups: Evidence from India (with Abhirup Sarkar and Souvik Dutta)


Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy

Instructor with full teaching responsibilities, Econ 104, Summer 2015

Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy

Teaching Assistant, Econ 102, Fall 2014

Growth and Development

Teaching Assistant, Econ 471, Fall 2013

Curriculum Vitae

Download CV as PDF


Working Papers

Honors and Scholarships


University of Cape Town
622, Leslie Commerce Building, Upper Campus
Rondebosch, Cape Town 7701
South Africa