Padmashree is a leading expert on trade policy, innovation policy, and economic development. She is also a Visiting Scholar at GDAE Tufts University, an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Social Sciences, University of Aalborg, Denmark and a Professorial Fellow at the United Nations University-MERIT.
Padmashree's research interests focus on the economic and social implications of technology in different contexts. She studies technology and industrialization, technology and inequality, technology, trade and market power, and governance frameworks for technology, innovation and industrialization. At Berkman, her research extends these areas of work to the digital economy, particularly looking at: (a) how changes in the fields of Big Data, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things interact with trade and technology policy at the governance levels; and (b) the differential social and economic impacts of digital transition in different regions and communities worldwide. In her recent work, she analyses how questions of data infrastructure, architecture and design impact stewardship and exercise of rights, the persistence of exclusion, and potential governance solutions, looking at industrial policy, intellectual property, technology policy. She is also engaged on issues of drug pricing, digital health and trade barriers for access to medicines with the GAiA program of the Center.
Padmashree’s research has focused on technological change in developing countries, and the role of institutional and other factors (macroeconomic, structural or trade related) that contribute to both successful technological change and technological exclusion. Coming from an inter-disciplinary background with economics, law, trade and technology perspectives, a number of her previous research projects look at these processes in a comparative regional perspective (developing-developed, or African-Asian-Latin American) across several sectors, or on topics of general importance, such as assessing the role of technology in the green economy, and technological change for sustainable development. She has over 60 publications on these issues including five books, and has served or continues to serve on a number of scientific Boards, such as the EUROLICS (The European network for the economics of learning, innovation, and competence building systems) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Board on Trade and Employment. She has also worked at the United Nations in various capacities over the years, and has also previously been on a professorship for innovation and development at the Open University in the UK.
Research, Teaching and More
As a researcher and development activist, she is engaged in grassroots efforts to make technological change inclusive. She is the founder of rights2100, which seeks to promote frameworks that re-articulate the notion of individual rights and social responsibility in the new data economy. She has taught courses on institutional economics, development economics, trade policy, innovation policy and the digital economy in various institutions. She is currently also working on creating new economic modules for higher education on specialized topics, especially trade policy and industrialization with the Tufts University.