Sneha Kumar

Ph.D. Candidate, Development Sociology

Sneha is a sociologist with interests in labor migration, aging and health, gender, family demography, quantitative methods, and international development.

Her dissertation research uses the case of Indonesia to examine how the rising prevalence and changing patterns of labor migration have transformed family dynamics and influenced the psychosocial wellbeing of family members ‘left-behind’. Drawing on scholarship from family demography, sociology of health, and migration studies, and using panel data from the Indonesia Family Life Survey, she specifically investigates how offspring’s labor migration shapes the psychosocial health of non-migrant elderly parents, and how observed implications vary given recent changes in intergenerational care conditions, migrant work experiences, and migrants’ gender composition.

As migration is increasingly pursued as a livelihood strategy by families in developing countries, her research looks to expand our understanding of the ways in which non-migrants’ lives are shaped by the process, and identify the axes of variation that make some non-migrants more vulnerable than others.

Sneha’s other research projects explore (a) the conditions that shape living arrangements of elderly couples in present-day China; (b) the causes and consequences of, and policy responses to, son preference and imbalanced child sex ratios in parts of Asia, the South Caucasus, and the Balkans; and (c) the varied patterns of fertility decline in sub-Saharan Africa and its implications for socioeconomic inequality.

Sneha’s teaching interests and experience include population and development, demographic techniques and quantitative methods, migration theory, and gender and health. As an Instructor of Record, she has taught in-person and online versions of a writing class on the social values underpinning competing perspectives on ‘overpopulation’. She also has extensive experience as a teaching assistant for introduction to sociology, population dynamics, research design and methods, and social inequality.  

Sneha holds a BSc in Economics and Economic History and a MSc in Economic History (with Distinction) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, U.K. She has worked as a Research Assistant at the Center for Microfinance in Chennai, India, and as a Consultant for the Poverty and Equity Practice at the World Bank, Washington D.C.

Committee members
Peer-reviewed publications

φ Extended version of this article is published as World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8635

Connect with Sneha
  • sk2586 [at]