Department of Economics & Statistics

Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya

Staff Profile

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Prof. D.N.B. Gunewardena
Professor of Economics

Department of Economics & Statistics
Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya
Peradeniya, 20400, Sri Lanka

+94(0)81-2392622
dilenig@pdn.ac.lk; dilenigun@yahoo.com
https://portal.pep-net.org/public/researcher/3576
https://www.linkedin.com/in/dileni-gunewardena-171b522a/
twitter: @dilenigun

Biography


     Dileni Gunewardena holds a doctorate in Economics from American University, Washington, D.C and a B.A. (Honours) in Economics from the University of Peradeniya, where she is Professor of Economics (Chair). Her publications include work on gender and ethnic wage gaps, child nutrition and growth, and consumption and multidimensional poverty. She recently led a research project on examining the links between skills, education and labour market outcomes from a gender perspective in 13 middle income countries, part of which is a background paper to the World Development Report 2018. She has been a Fulbright Scholar, a Brookings Institute Echidna Global Scholar, and has twice won Global Development Network (GDN) awards. She has contributed to several World Bank poverty profiles on Sri Lanka as well as to National Human Development Reports on Sri Lanka and reports on progress toward the Millennium Development Goals in Sri Lanka. She has consulted for the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank. She is the Team Leader of the National Human Development Report 2019. She is a member of a scientific support team of the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) Research Network and leads an initiative to develop an online course in Gender Economics for PEP. She has taught short courses for the World Bank Institute’s South Asia Region Workshops. She was the founder coordinator of the Master of Development Practice (MDP) Programme at the University of Peradeniya, having successfully led a team from the University of Peradeniya to obtain a MacArthur Foundation Grant to develop and launch this programme. She currently leads the initiative to promote postgraduate teaching and research in Gender Economics, at the University of Peradeniya, an initiative funded by the Open Society Foundation, and supported by American University in Washington, D.C.


Educational Qualifications


  • Ph.D. in Economics (American University, Washington, D.C. 1996)
  • B.A. in Economics (University of Peradeniya, 1990)

Positions Held


  • Professor of Economics (2014)
  • Senior Lecturer, Grade I(2003-2014)
  • Senior Lecturer, Grade II (1997-2003)
  • Lecturer (1991-1997)


Visiting Appointments


  • Adjunct professor and Visiting Scholar, Program in Gender Analysis in Economics, American University, Jan-May 2018
  • Echidna Global Scholar, Center for Universal Education, The Brookings Institution, 2015
  • Visiting Fulbright Research Scholar, University of California-Riverside, 2008
  • Visiting Scholar, University of Warwick, April-May 2006


Memberships & Awards


Fellowship Awards

  • Visiting Scholar, Program in Gender Analysis in Economics, American University, 2018
  • Global Echidna Scholar, Center for Universal Education, The Brookings Institution, 2015
  • Fulbright Research Grant Awardee, 2007-2008
Awards for Research Excellence
  • Second prize for Best Research on “Women's Rights, Security and Development: Challenges and Opportunities” at the Eighth Annual Awards Competition, Global Development Network 2007
  • First prize Award for Best Research on "Escaping Poverty" at the First Annual Awards Competition, Global Development Network, 2000
Competitive Research Grants and Conference Travel Grants
  • New Venture Fund/Echidna Global Scholars Grant Awardee 2016-2017
  • AAEA Trust Fund LI-LMIC Travel Grant Awardee, 2013
  • Poverty and Economic Policy (PEP) Research Network Research Grant Awardee, 2005-2007
Membership
  • Member, PMMA Scientific Support Committee, Poverty and Economic Policy (PEP) Research Network, Poverty Monitoring, Measurement and Analysis Sub-Network, 2008-present
  • Member, Centre for Poverty Analysis, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Feb 2008 - present


Keynote / Invited Papers


  • "Child Growth and Nutrition in Sri Lanka". Paper presented at CIRPEE's Mini Conference on Development, Quebec City, Canada. April 29-30, 2011. http://www.pep-net.org/communications/international-conferences/news/article/presentations_of_pep_researchers_at_an_international_conference_in_quebec_city
  • “Growth and Poverty Dynamics”. Presentation at ARTNet-PEP Policy Forum on Trade, Investment and Domestic Policy Coherence for Inclusive Growth, December 9, 2008. http://www.pep-net.org/fileadmin/medias/pdf/files_events/Dileni_Gunewardena.ppt
  • "Urban Poverty in South Asia". Presentation at “Poverty Reduction and Social Progress: New Trends and Emerging Lessons” World Bank/BIDS South Asia Regional Consultation on WDR 2000/1. Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 1999, http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPOVERTY/Resources/WDR/dhaka/gunewardena.pdf
  • “Inequality in Sri Lanka: Key Trends and Policy Response”. Country Paper on Sri Lanka at the Policy Dialogues and Inequality Conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka, December 2008. http://cop.mdgasiapacific.org/page/policy-dialogues-on-inequality


Research Interests


  • Development Microeconomics
  • Poverty & Inequality
  • Gender Economics
  • Labour Economics


Research Publications


Books (Authored)

  • Absolute and Relative Poverty in Sri Lanka: Evidence from the Consumer Finance Survey 2003/04, (Co-authored with Arunika Meedeniya and Shivapragasam Shivakumaran), Colombo, Centre for Poverty Analysis, 2007
  • Consumption Poverty in Sri Lanka 1985-2002, Colombo, Centre for Poverty Analysis, 2007
  • Improving Poverty Measurement in Sri Lanka, Colombo, Centre for Poverty Analysis, 2005
  • Poverty Measurement: Meanings, Methods and Requirements, Colombo, Centre for Poverty Analysis, 2004.
Books (Editted)
  • Economic and Social Development under a Market Economy Regime in Sri Lanka, Buddhadasa Hewavitharana Felicitation Vols. I and II. Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2012. Co-edited with Saman Kelegama. ISBN 978-955-665-150-8 and ISBN 978-955-665-151-5
Journal Articles
  • Heterogeneity in entrepreneurship in Developing Countries: Risk, credit and migration and the entrepreneurial propensity of youth and women (Co-authored with Abdoulaye Seck), Review of Development Economics, 24(3):713-725 (2020)
  • “Disability and poverty in Sri Lanka: a household level analysis” (Co-authored with Thusitha Kumara), Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences, 40(1): 53-69 (2017).
  • “A Cohort Analysis of Gender Wage Differentials in Sri Lanka: 1996-2004” (Co-authored with Ashani Abayasekara), Modern Sri Lanka Studies, vol V, 1 & 2 (2014).
  • "Reducing the Gender Wage Gap in Sri Lanka: Is Education Enough?" Sri Lanka Economic Journal, vol 3, 2 (2003): 177-207
  • “Local Self-Governance and Participatory Development: Lessons from Some South Asian Experiences.” Review article, The Sri Lanka Journal of Humanities, Vols. XXIX & XXX (Numbers 1 and 2), 2003-2004
  • "Sources of Ethnic Inequality in Viet Nam" (Co-authored with Dominique van de Walle), Journal of Development Economics, vol 65 (2001): 177-207.
  • “Does Ignoring Heterogeneity in Impacts Distort Project Appraisals? An Experiment for Irrigation in Vietnam” (Co-authored with Dominque van de Walle), World Bank Economic Review vol 15 (2001): 141-164.
  • Growth, Poverty and Inequality : Recent Trends in Sri Lanka, 2001, Samajeeyaa Vidya Vimarshana, Vol 1, No 2 (written in Sinhala). Co-authored with Anoma Abhayaratne
  • "Some Aspects of Poverty in Sri Lanka: 1985 - 1990" (Co-authored with Gaurav Datt). Sri Lanka Economic Journal (September 1995).
Book Chapters
  • “Spatial Inequality” in Kelegama, S. and D. Gunewardena (eds.) Economic and Social Development under a Market Economy Regime in Sri Lanka, Buddhadasa Hewavitharana Felicitation Volume 2, 337-366, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2012. (Co-authored with Thusitha Kumara).
  • “Determinants of Child Weight and Height in Sri Lanka: A Quantile Regression Approach” in Indrani Dutta, David Lawson and Mark McGillivray (eds.), Health, Inequality and Development, Palgrave, Houndsmill, Basingstoke and United Nations University. 2011. (Co-authored with Harsha Aturupane and Anil Deolalikar)
  • “An Analysis of Gender and Ethnic Wage Differentials among Youth in Sri Lanka” in Ramani Gunatilaka, Marcus Meyer and Milan Vodopivec (eds.) The Challenge of Youth Employment in Sri Lanka. World Bank, Washington, D.C. 2010.
  • “Exploring Gender Wage Gaps in Sri Lanka: A Quantile Regression Approach” in Ravi Kanbur and Jan Svejnar (eds.), Labour Markets and Economic Development, Routledge Studies in Development Economics, Routledge, London. 2009. (Co-authored with Darshi Abeyrathna, Amalie Ellagala, Kamani Rajakaruna and Shobana Rajendran)
  • “Labour Market, Informal Economy and Earnings during Rapid Economic Growth: The Case of Ho Chi Minh City” in Hy V. Luong, (ed.) Urbanization, Migration and Poverty in Ho Chi Minh City: A Vietnamese Metropolis in Comparative Perspective. National University of Singapore Press. 2009. (Co-authored with Hy V. Luong).
  • “Urban Poverty and the Informal Urban Economy" ("Ngheo do thi va nen kinh te phi chinh thuc do thi") in Urbanization and Poverty Reduction in Ho Chi Minh City, (Do thi hoa va van de giam ngheo o Thanh pho Ho Chi Minh) edited by Nguyen The Nghia, Mac Duong, and Nguyen Quang Vinh, pp. 713-764. Hanoi: Nha xuat ban Khoa hoc xa hoi. 2005.
  • "Women in the professions" in Kiribamune, Sirima, ed., Reconciliation of roles: women, work and family in Sri Lanka. I.C.E.S., Sri Lanka Studies Series No. 3. New Delhi: Navrang Publishers, 1992.
Archived Working Papers
  • More than Schooling: Understanding Gender Differences in the Labor Market When Measures of Skill Are Available. (Co-authored with Elizabeth King and Alexandria Valerio). 2018. Policy Research Working Paper No. 8588. World Bank, Washington, DC.
  • Why aren’t Sri Lankan Women translating their educational gains into workforce advantages? 2015 Echidna Global Scholars Working Paper, Center for Universal Education at Brookings, The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
  • The Determinants of Child Weight and Height in Sri Lanka: A Quantile Regression Approach. UNU-WIDER Research Paper RP2008/53. 2008. http://www.wider.unu.edu/publications/working-papers/research-papers/2008/en_GB/rp2008-53/
  • Glass Ceilings, Sticky Floors or Sticky Doors? A Quantile Regression Approach to Exploring Gender Wage Gaps in Sri Lanka. Co-authored with Shobana Rajendran, Darshi Abeyrathna, Kamani Rajakaruna and Amalie Ellagala. PEP PMMA Working Paper 2008-04. http://portal.pep-net.org/documents/download/id/13535
  • Sources of Ethnic Inequality in Vietnam. Policy Research Working Paper Series no. 2297, World Bank. March 2000. Co-authored with Dominique van de Walle. http://go.worldbank.org/C3549K17H1
  • How dirty are quick and dirty methods of project appraisal? Policy Research Working Paper Series no. 1908. World Bank, April 1998. http://go.worldbank.org/C3549K17H1
  • Some Aspects of Poverty in Sri Lanka: 1985-1990. Policy Research Working Paper Series no. 1738. World Bank, March 1997. Co-authored with Gaurav Datt. http://go.worldbank.org/13W7062GE0
  • “More than Schooling: Understanding Gender Differences in the Labor Market When Measures of Skill Are Available”. (Co-authored with Elizabeth King and Alexandria Valerio). 2018. Policy Research Working Paper No. 8588. World Bank, Washington, DC.
  • “Why aren’t Sri Lankan Women translating their educational gains into workforce advantages?” 2015 Echidna Global Scholars Working Paper, Center for Universal Education at Brookings, The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
Conference/Seminar Presentations
  • “Gender Responsive Budgeting”, Presentation to Women Parliamentarian’s Caucus, Sri Lanka, July 2021.
  • “Why Gender Matters: The contribution of gender perspectives to economic theory and development research” Centre for Banking Studies, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, September 2020
  • “Net effects of cognitive and noncognitive skills on type of employment and earnings” PIERS, Peradeniya, October 2019
  • “Net effects of cognitive and noncognitive skills on type of employment and earnings” Verite Research, Colombo, July 2019
  • “More than schooling: understanding gender differences in the labor market when measures of skill are available”. Pathways to Gender Equality Conference, American University Department of Economics, Program on Gender Analysis in Economics and Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Washington, D.C. Nov 2-3, 2018.
  • “More than schooling: understanding gender differences in the labor market when measures of skill are available”. Center for Universal Education, The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., May 2, 2018.
  • “Gender Differences in Labor Market Returns to Schooling and Skills in Middle Income Countries” American University Department of Economics, Program on Gender Analysis in Economics and Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Gender Seminar Series Spring 2018, American University, Washington, D.C., February 26, 2018.
  • “Much more than schooling: understanding gender differences in the labor market when measures of skill are available”. Verite Research, Colombo, March 2017.
  • “Much more than schooling: understanding gender differences in the labor market when measures of skill are available”. Brown Bag Lunch seminar, World Bank, Washington, D.C. December 12, 2016.
  • “Why aren’t Sri Lankan women translating their educational gains into workforce advantages?” 17th Annual GDN conference on Education for Development, Lima, Peru, 17-18 March 2016.
  • “Girls’ education and labor market empowerment: What do we know and what do we need to know?” Fall Semester Seminar Series, Economics Department and Program on Gender Analysis in Economics, American University, October 2015.
  • “Girls’ education and labor market empowerment: What do we know and what do we need to know?” International Conference on Sustainable Development, Columbia University, September 2015.
  • “Glass Ceilings, Sticky Floors or Sticky Doors? A Quantile Regression Approach to Exploring Gender Wage Gaps in Sri Lanka”, Spring Semester Gender Seminar Series, Program on Gender Analysis in Economics, American University, May 2014.
  • “Child Nutrition and Child Growth in Sri Lanka”. Revised version. Presented to the National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, Department Seminar Series. April 14, 2014.
  • “Child Nutrition and Child Growth in Sri Lanka”. Revised version. Presented as an LI-LMIC grantee at 2013 AAEA Conference, Washington, D.C. 2013. August 4-6, 2013.
  • A Cohort Analysis of Gender Wage Differentials in Sri Lanka: 1996-2004. Paper presented at Twelfth National Convention on Women's Studies, CENWOR, July 2-5, 2010. Co-authored with Ashani Abayasekara (paper presented by Ashani Abayasekara).
  • “Glass Ceilings, Sticky Floors or Sticky Doors? A Quantile Regression Approach to Exploring Gender Wage Gaps in Sri Lanka” Presented at the Eighth Annual Global Development Medals and Awards Competition, GDN, Brisbane, January 30, 2008. Co authored with Shobana Rajendran, Darshi Abeyrathna, Kamani Rajakaruna and Amalie Ellagala
  • “Are there disparities in ethnicity by wages in Sri Lanka and why?” in “Does Inequality Matter? Exploring the Links Between Poverty and Inequality” Seventh Annual Research Symposium on Poverty Research, Colombo: Centre for Poverty Analysis. 2007
  • “Exploring Gender Wage Gaps in Sri Lanka: A Quantile Regression Approach”, Paper presented at the 5th General Meeting of the Poverty and Economic Policy (PEP) Network, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 18-22, 2006. Co authored with Shobana Rajendran, Darshi Abeyrathna, Kamani Rajakaruna and Amalie Ellagala
  • "Quantitative and qualitative approaches to poverty measurement" Paper presented at the Regional Conference on Poverty Monitoring, Manila, March 23-26, 2004.
Unpublished Thesis
  • An Analysis of Income Inequality in a Developing Country: Sri Lanka 1985/86 and 1990/91. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Washington, D.C.: The American University, 1996.
Reports (Contributor)
  • Sri Lanka: Strengthening Social Protection. Report No. 38197-LK. World Bank, Human Development Unit, South Asia. 2007.  http://www.ipc-undp.org/publications/cct/asia/Social_Protection_report_Sri_Lanka.pdf
  • Attaining the Millenium Development Goals in Sri Lanka. Report No. 32314-LK. World Bank, Colombo. 2005. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTSARREGTOPLABSOCPRO/Resources/SriLankaMDGReport.pdf
  • Millennium Development Goals Country Report—Sri Lanka, 2005. Colombo. UNDP-NCED. http://www.undp.lk/Shared%20Documents/Sri%20Lanka%20MDG%20Report%202005.pdf
  • Sri Lanka Poverty Assessment. Report No. 22535-CE. World Bank, Washington, D.C. 2002. http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2002/08/23/000094946_02080904021260/Rendered/PDF/multi0page.pdf
  • Sri Lanka Poverty Assessment. Report No. 13431-CE. World Bank, Washington, D.C. 1995. http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1995/01/11/000009265_3961007013257/Rendered/PDF/multi0page.pdf

Other Credentials


  • Non-residential Fellow, Verite Research (2021)
  • Lead Instructor, Gender Analysis and Economic Policy Research, PEP Research Network and University of Laval Online Course, January-April 2021
  • Co-Principal Trainer, Workshop on Gender Analysis, PEP Research Network, Saly, Senegal, 4th September, 2019
  • Project leader, initiative to introduce a Gender Economics track at Graduate level at the University of Peradeniya with capacity building from American University, Open Society Foundation Grant (2018-2019) Led the curriculum design and development effort for the introduction of a Gender Economics track in four graduate degrees at the University of Peradeniya, undertaken with support from the American University, Washington, D.C. and under the generous sponsorship of Open Society Foundation.
  • Programme Coordinator, Master of Development Practice Programme and Project Coordinator, Masters in Development Practice, Capacity Building Project (2009-2014) Led a multidisciplinary team whose proposal to the MacArthur Foundation to design and offer a Masters Degree in Development Practice (MDP) was one of 15 successful proposals selected from all over the world to implement this programme. Project Coordinator tasks included leading the curriculum development and capacity building effort to implement this innovative professional postgraduate degree programme.
  • Editor, Sri Lanka Economic Journal (2004-2005)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Second International Research Conference of the Sri Lanka Forum of University Economists (SLFUE-2013)
  • Member, Editorial Board, E-journal of the Department of Economics and Statistics (from inception to 2012)
  • Member, Editorial Board, First International Conference on the Social Sciences and the Humanities (ICSSH-2011), Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya
  • Member, Editorial Board, Peradeniya Economics Research Symposium (PERS) 2013
  • Member, Editorial Board, Peradeniya Economics Research Symposium (PERS) 2014
  • Member, Faculty Committee to review Semester/Course Unit System
  • Faculty of Arts Co-coordinator of the transition to the course unit system
  • Member, Faculty Committee to design Semester/Course Unit System
  • Resource Person, World Bank Institute, South Asia Region Teaching Programmes and Workshops Economic Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction in Sri Lanka, Passara, Sri Lanka, April 2005 Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction, Kathmandu, Nepal, September 1999. Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction: Theory, Evidence and Implications for South Asia, Colombo, Sri Lanka, October, 1998
  • Co-Principal Trainer, Workshop on Gender Analysis, PEP Research Network, Saly, Senegal, 4th September, 2019
  • Principal Trainer, Workshop on Poverty Measurement and Analysis jointly organized by the PEP Research Network and Centre for Poverty Analysis, 20th-24th February 2012.
  • Visiting Lecturer, Exchange/study abroad programmes:
  • “Improving Living Standards in Sri Lanka: Nature, Policies & Setbacks” in 2005 South Asian Study Abroad Programme, ICES, Kandy, Sri Lanka and Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana, USA, October 2005 “The Political Economy of Development in Sri Lanka: poverty issues” in Sri Lanka Study Programme, ICES, Kandy, Sri Lanka and Tulane University, USA, 2004 and 2005.


Consultancy Reports


  • Sri Lanka: Strengthening Social Protection. Report No. 38197-LK. World Bank, Human Development Unit, South Asia. 2007. http://www.ipc-undp.org/publications/cct/asia/Social_Protection_report_Sri_Lanka.pdf
  • Attaining the Millenium Development Goals in Sri Lanka. Report No. 32314-LK. World Bank, Colombo. 2005. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTSARREGTOPLABSOCPRO/Resources/SriLankaMDGReport.pdf Millennium Development Goals Country Report—Sri Lanka, 2005. Colombo. UNDP-NCED. http://www.undp.lk/Shared%20Documents/Sri%20Lanka%20MDG%20Report%202005.pdf
  • Sri Lanka Poverty Assessment. Report No. 13431-CE. World Bank, Washington, D.C. 1995. http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1995/01/11/000009265_3961007013257/Rendered/PDF/multi0page.pdf


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Address
Department of Economics & Statistics,
Faculty of Arts,
University of Peradeniya
Peradeniya, 20400,
Sri Lanka
Telephone
Head:+94 (0)81 239 2620
Office:+94 81 239 2621/22
Fax
+94 (0)81 239 2620
Email
econ@pdn.ac.lk
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