Nikkil Sudharsanan


David E. Bell Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies

Ph.D., Demography, University of Pennsylvania, 2017
MA, Statistics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 2016
MPH, Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 2013
BA, Interdisciplinary Studies (Health and Development), University of California Berkeley, 2010

Entered Program: 
Trainee Type: 
NICHD Trainee
Dissertation Chair: 
Michel Guillot
Dissertation Committee Member: 
Jere R. Behrman
Dissertation Committee Member: 
Hans-Peter Kohler
Dissertation Committee Member: 
Irma T. Elo
Graduation Year: 

I am currently a PhD candidate in Demography at the University of Pennsylvania. My research combines methods from demography, epidemiology, and econometrics to study three themes: the demography and epidemiology of aging in developing countries, causal contributions to adult health and aging, and health inequality and the health of vulnerable populations in India.

My current projects include: (1) modeling the dynamics of aging in developing countries to identify which diseases need to be prioritized by health policies to promote longevity and healthy aging; and (2) using methodologies from economics and behavioral genetics to understand the causal contributions of genes and early life circumstances to adult health and health-related behaviors. I am also actively involved in several projects in India that focus on adult health and well-being among vulnerable populations, including rural-to-urban migrants, the urban and rural poor, and scheduled caste and tribe groups.

I am a fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics and a Research Affiliate in Population and Health at the Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health in Maharashtra, India. I have an MA in Statistics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MPH in Global Health from Emory University, and a BA in Health and Development from the University of California, Berkeley.

Recent Papers:

The association between socioeconomic status and adult mortality in a developing country: Evidence from a nationally representative study of Indonesian Adults
Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences (2017)
Nikkil Sudharsanan

Limited Common Origins of Multiple Adult Health-Related Behaviors: Evidence from U.S. Twins
Social Science & Medicine (2016)
Nikkil Sudharsanan, Jere R. Behrman, and Hans-Peter Kohler

Population aging, macroeconomic changes, and global diabetes prevalence, 1990–2008
Population Health Metrics (2015)
Nikkil Sudharsanan, Mohammed K. Ali, Neil K. Mehta, and KM Venkat Narayan

Race/ethnicity and disability among older Americans
Handbook of Minority Aging (2013)
Neil K. Mehta, Nikkil Sudharsanan, and Irma T. Elo