Distinguished Mason PhD Economics Student

Distinguished Mason PhD Economics Student Image

Shruti Rajagopalan


Shruti Rajagopalan earned her Bachelors in Economics (Honors) from Hans Raj College, University of Delhi. She completed her law degree (LLB) at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi and is enrolled in the Bar Council of Delhi. She also has a Masters in Law and Economics, as an Erasmus Mundus Scholar, from University of Hamburg, Ghent University and University of Bologna in 2008. Shruti then came to Mason to complete her graduate studies and is a PhD. candidate in Economics and a Mercatus Dissertation Fellow. Shruti is currently a Visiting Research student at the Department of Economics at New York University, and the recipient of the Bradley and HB Earhart Fellowships in the Program on Market Institutions & Economic Processes.

Shruti’s broad area of interest is the economic analysis of comparative legal and political systems.  Her prior research has covered topics including the economic analysis of constitutional maintenance, interest-group capture, bankruptcy law, and environmental liability. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, law reviews, and book chapters.

Shruti’s doctoral research has focused on the choice of constitutional rules by rational self-interested individuals and the strategies employed by these individuals within the realm of these constitutional rules. She uses the formal amendment process to analyze the interaction between the choice of rules and choice within the rules. In her dissertation she analyzes the role of ideology and interests of political entrepreneurs, in forming and amending constitutional rules in postcolonial India. She analyzes the robustness of constitutional rules and their vulnerability to political capture in post-constitutional settings in India.

Shruti has translated many of the themes from her doctoral research to mainstream publications and has published opinion editorials on Indian political economy in The Wall Street Journal, Mint and The Indian Express. She has also received several honors including the best project at the European School in New Institutional Economics, Corsica.

Shruti works closely with her dissertation advisor, Peter Boettke, who is a faculty member at the economics department. She has also co-authored and published with other faculty members from the economics department including Richard Wagner, Virgil Storr, and Todd Zywicki at the law school.