Born 3 February 1963 to a tamil family, in International Monetary Fund (IMF) as chief economist, born in Bhopal, then went abroad, moved back to India from Belgium. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He did PG from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad in 1987. PhD in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1991 for his thesis titled "Essays on Banking".
Winner of 2003 Fischer Black Prize, 2010 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, he was the youngest-ever Economic Counselor and Director of Research.
He said that the economic crises in the U.S. and Europe were due to due to workforce competitiveness issues in the globalization era, and politicians attempted to "paper-over" with easy credit. He said that means educating or retraining the workers who are falling behind, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, and harnessing the power of the financial sector to do good while preventing it from going off track.
- Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists, was co-authored with fellow Chicago Booth professor Luigi Zingales and published in 2004.
- Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy, published in 2010, has won the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award for 2010.
- He has also published numerous articles in top-tier finance and economics journals including the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Finance and Oxford Review of Economic Policy.
- The True Lessons of the Recession; The West Can’t Borrow and Spend Its Way to Recovery by Rajan in May/June 2012 Foreign Affairs
- Several of Dr. Rajan's opinion editorials are available at: Rajan-Project Syndicate Opinion Editorials