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Bhagwan Chowdhry
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Bhagwan Chowdhry is a Professor of Finance at UCLA Anderson School. He received his Ph.D. in 1989 from the University of Chicago Booth School. He also has an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Iowa and a B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology. Professor Chowdhry has recently proposed a Financial Access at Birth (FAB) initiative in which every child born in the world is given an initial deposit of $100 in an online bank account to guarantee that everyone in the world will have access to financial services in a few decades. You can read about the initiative at

You can follow him on twitter at @bhagwanUCLA

Entries by Bhagwan Chowdhry

I (Shall Happily) Accept the 2016 Nobel Prize in Economics on Behalf of Satoshi Nakamoto

(30) Comments | Posted November 6, 2015 | 11:45 AM

Nearly 25 years after receiving my PhD in Finance from the University of Chicago, I finally heard from the Prize Committee for the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel -- popularly known as the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. No, I was not...

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How Modi's Visit to Facebook Could Help Reverse India's Brain Drain

(5) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 11:11 AM

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes to the U.S. in a couple days, he won't just make the obligatory stops at the White House and the United Nations. The most important destination on his itinerary is his visit to Facebook Headquarters, out in Silicon Valley.

There has long...

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Why Financial Inclusion in India Is Not Quite There Yet

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 7:03 PM

I was in India on August 15 when the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi announced an ambitious financial inclusion plan called Jan Dhan Yojana (JDY) in his Independence Day speech. I have been an avid campaigner of Financial Inclusion for the poor for many years...

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Would a Push to Hire More Women Reduce Gender Pay-Gap? Not Until We Fix the Pipeline

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 11:31 AM

Harvard and City are two equal-opportunity universities. Every professor -- male and female  --  at both universities, is paid a salary that is appropriate given his or her qualifications. To be specific, superstar faculty members are paid $120K annually and other faculty members are paid $80K per year. Let us...

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Go Green -- But Not for Your Great-Great-Grandchildren

(1) Comments | Posted December 1, 2013 | 2:27 PM

Right now, I don't care about climate change. Really? Exclaim many of my friends incredulously. Don't I care about the welfare of many future generations? In response, I ask my friends who I should care about more, a family with an annual income of fifty thousand dollars, half-a-million dollars or...

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Financial Inclusion in India: An Update

(4) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 12:36 PM

Three years ago I blogged "Is Financial Inclusion Imminent in India?" I have just returned from India after observing the progress India has made towards financial inclusion. Yes, there has been progress, but much remains to be done.

I visited Nandan Nilekani , profiled in the...

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Buddhist Emptiness for Scientists, Engineers and Mathematicians

(501) Comments | Posted November 22, 2011 | 1:08 PM

I became a Buddhist seven years ago. A Secular Buddhist. I was attracted by the curiosity and openness with which the Dalai Lama was engaged with science. I found it refreshing. In this article in the New York Times, the Dalai Lama insists: "If science proves some belief...

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It Takes a Village to Write a Scholarly Research Article

(1) Comments | Posted August 25, 2011 | 4:26 PM

"Oh, you are a Professor at UCLA? You must really like teaching" is a comment that I, and many of my academic colleagues at research universities, hear very often when we mention to others what we do for a living. Yes, understanding complex ideas and being able to explain them...

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Productivity and Philanthropy

(2) Comments | Posted February 4, 2011 | 1:49 PM

There is a wonderful organization called with a creative and very simple motto: "Skip something. Feed a child."

The introductory video shows a young couple in a fancy restaurant who decide to skip their meal. The waitress takes their plates, goes through a door and on the...

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Is Yunus Right About Charitable Donations?

(4) Comments | Posted January 17, 2011 | 1:05 PM

Consider two micro-entrepreneurs. Rosa has a small business idea that requires an initial investment of $10,000 USD and will generate $11,000 USD at the end of the year -- a return of 10% per year. Nandini, also has a business idea that requires an initial investment of US$1,000 and will...

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Microinsurance, Microsavings and Microcredit Under One Roof

(3) Comments | Posted September 8, 2010 | 4:07 PM

Risk and uncertainties in life affect everyone. Most people, including the poor, use savings as a mechanism to deal with unexpected demands for resources caused by death, disability and illness. For poor people, however, saving for the unexpected can often mean severely containing consumption which often includes going hungry, undernourishment...

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Is Financial Inclusion Imminent in India?

(3) Comments | Posted September 2, 2010 | 6:54 PM

Nearly half the world has no access to even simple financial services such as savings. In India, nearly 70% of the people are estimated to be excluded from formal financial services that most people like you and I who are reading this blog take for granted. There are...

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Using IT to Fight Corruption and Inefficiency in India

(8) Comments | Posted August 25, 2010 | 4:12 PM

I spent a month in India this Summer, promoting UCLA Anderson's Master in Financial Engineering (MFE) program, teaching and attending research conferences at the Indian School of Business (ISB), meeting entrepreneurs as well as senior government officials to talk about Financial Access at Birth...

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Microequity: A New Model for Financing Microentrepreneurship

(5) Comments | Posted June 4, 2010 | 6:38 PM

Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank received the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering the Microfinance revolution. Visionaries such as Fazel Hasan Ahmed of BRAC, who was recently knighted, and John Hatch, the founder of FINCA and the creator of Village Banking (not surprisingly, Grameen...

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A Decent Proposal for President Obama on Memorial Day

(10) Comments | Posted May 24, 2010 | 4:31 PM

Memorial Day is just around the corner. Many of us are making plans how to spend the holiday. Perhaps we will invite family and friends to a barbecue party in the afternoon in the backyard or perhaps we will go to one ourselves. Perhaps we will take advantage of the...

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Death Makes Us Weak, Impatient and Risk-Averse

(47) Comments | Posted May 15, 2010 | 8:00 AM

Ask most people why we die as we grow old, the answer you most likely will get is that our body slowly wears out, getting weaker and weaker with increasingly delicate immune system that is no longer able to fight disease or physical injury. But that really begs the question:...

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Remembering the Remarkable Ideas of BOP Guru, C K Prahalad, 1941-2010

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2010 | 5:32 PM

I met C K Prahalad only once, in India. He gave a riveting talk to a standing room only crowd of students, faculty, and administrators at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad where I spent a year on sabbatical leave from UCLA Anderson School....

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Where Did Ten Dollars I Texted For Disaster Relief Go? Solving the Last Mile Problem in Aid Delivery

(3) Comments | Posted April 1, 2010 | 9:19 PM

Natural disasters -- earthquakes, floods, tsunamis -- leave many homeless and without any water, food, medicines and other critical supplies. The world community, eager to help the victims, begins to mobilize help and support. Many aid advocates and experts have argued against sending aid-in-kind -- old shoes, clothes etc. --...

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'The Road From Ruin': Why Are Vampires Rich?

(27) Comments | Posted March 24, 2010 | 8:30 AM

Paheli, my teenage daughter, was totally obsessed with the "Twilight" series by Stephenie Meyer until a year or so ago. She mentioned that the hero of the series, Edward Cullen drives fancy cars. My pre-teen son Saransh, who can recognize and tell the model and the price of nearly every...

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