Ashwini Deshpande is an Indian economist known for her work on economic discrimination, specifically in relation to caste and gender. She is Professor of Economics at Ashoka University, and is the Founding Director of the Centre for Economic Data and Analysis at Ashoka.
Ashwini earned her Ph.D at the Delhi School of Economics in 1994 with a paper examining the international debt crisis of the 1980s, for which she won an award from the Exam Bank of India. Since then she was worked at different Indian universities and at the University of North Carolina, focusing on globalisation, inequality, and how Indian culture has shaped its economy. Ashwini has been appointed for many governmental roles, working as a principal investigator in Princeton University's Urban Labour Market Inequality project, and as a member in the Ministry of Minority Affairs in the Indian government.
Ashwini has authored hundreds of papers and several books, including The Grammar of Caste: Economic Discrimination in Contempary India, which looks at the economic impact of caste discrimination.