Kiran is a Principal Economist at the Information Commissioner's Office. She also sits on the Royal Economic Society's Women's Committee and is a member of the UK Women in Economics Network Steering Group.
Why did you choose to study economics?
When I was deciding which A-levels to take, my mum said that she thought I would enjoy Economics. I hadn’t yet decided what I wanted to do in the future, and was open to studying something new, so thought, why not add Economics to my choices? I found it interesting immediately, because it gives you so much clarity on why the world is the way it is. And I stuck with it because I realised it could take me to the next step – shaping the way the world is.
How would you describe economics?
Understanding what we have, as individuals, as a society, as the world (as the universe?), and finding the best possible ways to use it.
If you had a time machine and could meet your 16-year-old self, what advice would you give them?
You have some goals that you’ve set your heart on, but some plans are not going to be as easy to stick to as you think! Don’t be scared to go after what you want (and put in the work for it), but be prepared for challenges, and continue to be excited by new possibilities. Don’t worry too much about anything else – even a more roundabout path will take you where you need to get to.
What is your favourite part of economics?
At the beginning, it was probably Development Economics. However, as I started to think about what I actually wanted to do as a job, I was drawn to regulation. Ever since, my appreciation of and interest in Regulatory Economics has grown through my work. And more personally, I’m interested in Feminist Economics.
Is there anything you would do differently if you had the chance?
I’ve spent a lot of time over the years learning econometrics, but if I could do it all over again, I would actually want to learn more. I do think Economics is overly reliant on mathematics to the detriment of other disciplines that can also make useful contributions to the subject, but to even make helpful critiques of how maths is used by other economists, it’s really useful to understand the theory behind it.