TCD harnesses the rigor of the University of Chicago's Economics community to address some of India’s most pressing policy and development issues, combining multidisciplinary research with strategic outreach and partnership to translate evidence into impact

What We Do

The Tata Centre for Development (TCD) at the University of Chicago works to identify novel solutions to India’s most pressing development challenges and to ensure that these ideas are translated into outcomes that improve people’s lives. Launched in 2016 with generous support from the Tata Trusts, TCD follows a unique approach that harnesses evidence-based insights from UChicago’s rigorous economics research.

An affiliated center of the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at UChicago, TCD upholds the university’s tradition of applying economic thinking to a wide range of social challenges and advancing important research on India through a convergence of scholars from across disciplines.

To translate research insights into policy action, TCD engages with policymakers at all levels of government and policy entrepreneurs across sectors and launches pilot projects to demonstrate success. Representing the joint work of the Tata Trusts and the University of Chicago, TCD asks difficult questions, challenges conventional thinking, and creates a new model for impact in India.

Our Approach

TCD targets research projects that will contribute new, evidence-based solutions to difficult policy and development problems in India and whose insights can affect change in the real world. Whenever possible, TCD projects are designed and implemented in collaboration with government partners and policy entrepreneurs so that research findings generate impact in real time.

Following the tradition of University of Chicago, much of TCD’s research extends into areas often considered outside of economics. Therefore, while TCD’s diverse and robust research portfolio is rooted in development economics, it cuts across multiple disciplines, from health and education, to energy, environment, and fiscal reform. In all of these areas, TCD combines groundbreaking research with strategic outreach and communications aimed at engaging decision-makers at all levels.

“The University of Chicago is known globally for its pioneering work in economics and has a long history of research and partnership in India. The Tata Centre for Development combines UChicago’s reputation for scholarship and insights with the Tata Trust’s vision and commitment to accelerate the development of individuals and communities across India. I expect that this groundbreaking partnership will address some of India’s most challenging development issues.”

Ratan N. Tata Chairman, Tata Trusts


About Becker Friedman Institute

The Becker Friedman Institute (BFI) at UChicago serves as a hub for cutting-edge analysis and research across the University of Chicago’s Economics community, uniting researchers from the Booth School of Business, the Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School in an unparalleled effort to uncover new ways of thinking about economics. We put those ideas into action by translating rigorous research into accessible and relevant formats, and proactively disseminating it to key decision-makers around the world.

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About Tata Trusts

The Tata Trusts—comprising the Sir Ratan Tata Trust & Allied Trusts and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust & Allied Trusts—are among India’s oldest philanthropic organizations. The Trusts have been working to empower the under-served communities of Indian society since 1919, providing financial support to non-profit organizations across the country, while also engaging directly in the areas of natural resource management and rural livelihoods, education, health, media, arts, crafts and culture, and urban poverty and livelihoods.

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UChicago Center in Delhi

In India, TCD is housed at the University of Chicago Center in Delhi.