Monica Das Gupta is an anthropologist and demographer whose work deals with various aspects of population, poverty, and development. Starting with extensive village-level research, she worked on child health, including an apparent tendency for child deaths to cluster in a few households; the community-level factors that encourage circular migration; and the ways in which communities respond to population pressure. Building on this field experience, she has studied how family systems shape the life chances of different categories of household members --- including studying the causes and consequences of gender differentials in health outcomes in Asia, and the household regulation of marriage and childbearing. More recently, she has also worked on public goods in health, focusing on public health systems to reduce a population’s exposure to disease. This has included studying the institutional design of successful models of low-cost preventive public health systems in South Asia and other developing countries.
She is currently working on the implications of China’s upcoming marriage squeeze for the social protection needs of future aging bachelors; the organization of preventive public health services in Sri Lanka; and a review of the literature on population, poverty, and sustainable development.