Raghuram Rajan was born on 3 February 1963 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.. From 1974 to 1981 Rajan attended Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram, In 1981 he enrolled at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi for a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. In the final year of his four-year degree, he headed the Student Affairs Council. He graduated in 1985 and was awarded the Director’s Gold Medal as the best all-round student. In 1987, he earned a Master of Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, graduating with a gold medal for academic performance. He joined the Tata Administrative Services as a management trainee, but left after a few months to join the doctoral program at the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1991, he received a PhD for his thesis titled Essays on Banking under the supervision of Stewart Myers, consisting of three essays on the nature of the relationship between a firm or a country, and its creditor banks.
The nature of financial systems had witnessed widespread changes in the 1980s, with markets getting deregulated, information becoming more widely available and easier to process, and competition having increased. The established orthodoxy claimed that deregulation must necessarily increase competition, which would translate into greater efficiency. In his thesis, Rajan argued that this might not necessarily be the case. The first essay focused on the choice available to firms between arm’s length credit and relationship-based credit. The second focused on the Glass-Steagall Act, and the conflict of interest involved when a commercial lending bank enters into investment banking. The final essay examined why indexation of a country’s debt, despite offering potential advantages, seldom featured in debt reduction plans. He was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the London Business School in 2012, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2015. and Université catholique de Louvain in 2019 .
Raghuram Govinda Rajan is an Indian economist and the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Between 2003 and 2006 he was Chief Economist and Director of Research at the International Monetary Fund. From September 2013 through September 2016 he was the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India; in 2015, during his tenure at the RBI, he became the Vice-Chairman of the Bank for International Settlements.
Currently serves as the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.