Esha Chatterjee’s areas of specialization are in the areas of ‘demography’ and ‘gender, work and family’.  During the course of her PhD, she has worked with the ‘India Human Development Survey’ group and has extensive experience in working with survey data. Her dissertation analyzes the determinants of women’s fertility intention, contraception use and subsequent behavior in India.

A second  area of interest for her, has been migration. She is working on a couple of projects on internal migration in India. Her paper ‘Physical vs. imagined communities: migration and women’s autonomy in India’ with Dr. Sonalde Desai is forthcoming in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

The third stream of research she interested in, is related to labor force participation. Her paper with Dr. Sonalde Desai and Dr.Reeve Vanneman titled ‘Indian Paradox: Rising Education, Declining  Women’s Employment’ has been published in Demographic Research, and it also received the editor’s choice award.


"Determinants of differential regional fertility rates in India: an examination of fertility intention, behavior and the unmet need for contraception":

 Key Findings from Dissertation:

Using data from the first nationally representative panel survey in India- the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) 2005 & 2012 I find that:
1. Women who have an unmet need for contraception in 2005 are about twice as likely as those with no unmet need, to have an ‘unintended birth’ between 2005 and 2012, after taking into account other individual and household level factors.
2. Women who have lower levels of empowerment at the household level & those who reside in areas with high gender segregation are less likely to translate their fertility intentions into behavior.
3. Wantedness of a woman’s birth has important impacts on subsequent maternal healthcare utilization. Specifically, women who report their most recent birth as wanted, are more likely to obtain at least one antenatal check-up, the recommended number of antenatal check-ups (atleast 4), deliver in an institutional setting, and obtain at least one postnatal check-up compared to women who have an unwanted birth, net of maternal and household characteristics.

Areas of Interest

  • Fertility
  • Labor Force
  • Gender, Work and Family
  • Migration
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Social Demography


  • M. Phil
    Economics, Jadavpur University, India (2012)
  • MA
    Economics, Jadavpur University, India (2010)
  • BS
    Economics, Calcutta University, India (2008)
Esha Image
eshachat [at]