Professor Arnab Bhattacharjee

Head Of Economics

Arnab joined Heriot-Watt University in 2013, where he is currently Professor and Head of Economics, and was previously Director of Spatial Economics & Econometrics Centre (SEEC). 

His research interests lie primarily in econometrics – the discipline of quantitative measurement of economic and social behaviour. His research focuses on foundations and methodology for modeling and identification of structural models using observational data, including Big Data settings. Arnab’s applied research is collaborative with government, policy community, civil society, and private enterprise. It has generated active policy debate and societal impact in several areas including:

  • impact of large economic shocks (like the financial crisis, COVID and Brexit) upon destitution and extreme poverty in the UK and its regions; 
  • development of Scottish Government guidelines for socio-economic-environmental impact evaluation of offshore and marine developments; 
  • the structure and organisation of Monetary Policy Committees; 
  • policies for reducing health inequalities across Scottish regions and demographic regeneration of interior regions of Portugal; and 
  • impact of land reform programmes on forest regeneration and sustainable agriculture in the Amazon.

Areas of interest

  • Econometrics and Statistics, Urban and Housing Economics, Regional Economics and Regional Studies, Social networks, agent-based modeling and microsimulation, Macroeconomics and monetary economics, Corporate finance, strategy and industrial economics


PhD in Statistics, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India, 2009. Thesis title: “Order restricted covariate effects and hazard regression models”. Adviser: Prof. Debasis Sengupta.

PhD in Economics, University of Mumbai, Mumbai, India, 2002. Title: “Valuation of Corporate Debt and Equity – Some Contributions in the Indian case”. Adviser: Prof. Abhay Pethe.

M.Stat. – Master of Statistics, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India, 1993.

B.Stat. (Hons.) – Bachelor of Statistics (with Honours), Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India, 1991. 


2010-2013: University of Dundee, UK.

2004-2010: University of St Andrews, UK.

2001-2004: Department of Applied Economics, and Robinson College, University of Cambridge, UK.

1995-2006: Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai, India (India’s central bank).

External Fellowships: Fellow, National Institute of Economic and Social Research (UK); Elected Life Member, International Statistical Institute (since 2004); Fellow, Robinson College, Cambridge (UK).

External Academic Appointments: Visiting Professor of Statistics and Probability, Michigan State University (USA) and Indian Statistical Institute (IND); Visiting Professor of Urban Planning, University of Aveiro (Portugal); Research Visiting Professor of Regional Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA).

External Advisory Engagements: Consultant, Technical expert and Steering Group Member: Scottish Government (‘Local Areas’ Marine Development, Jan.-Aug. 2019); Consultant: Scottish Parliament Information Center (SPICe), European Central Bank and Timberlake Consultants (Technical Expert on Econometrics).

Academic lineage: 

  • Erdős number – 4. 
  • In statistics genealogy, I am 22nd generation in the lineage of Nicolò Fontana Tartaglia (1499-1557), with notable academic ancestors Galileo Galilea, Sir Isaac Newton, Sir R. A. Fisher and C. R. Rao. 
  • My academic ancestors in economics include Adam Smith (Scotland), and Lawrence Klein and David Andrew Kendrick in North America, but also partly the Austrian School and the School of Salamanca in Europe.

Projects/Research showcase

A gold trophy against a blurred halo of lights


2020, Elected Member of Committee, Money Macro and Finance Society (Research Group)

2020, Fellow, National Institute of Economic and Social Research

2016, Hind Rattan Award (State honour, India)

2016, Top 10 papers 2005-15, Spatial Economic Analysis