Bilesha is currently a Research Fellow, attached to the Labour, Employment and Human Resources Development unit at the IPS. She is also serving as an International Consultant to the Asian Development Bank, Philippines. Previously, Bilesha was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University, New Jersey, USA. Prior to moving to the United States, she worked at the IPS and at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Bilesha’s research interests include internal and international migration, urbanization, economics of education, labour economics, economic development, econometrics & economic modeling, and economics of sports.

Bilesha holds a BA in Economics from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, an MA in Economics from Rutgers University, USA and an MPhil and PhD in Economics from the City University of New York, USA.

Advisory work

Member of the Expert Group for Formulating the Revised National Labour Migration Policy

2017 to present

International Consultant to the World Bank, USA

International Consultant to the Asian Development Bank, Philippines

Member of the National Advisory Committee on Labour Migration (NACLM) in Sri Lanka (2014 June onwards)

Member of the Programme Advisory Commitee (PAC) of the Ministry of Foreign Employment for “Promoting Decent Work through Good Governance, Protection and Empowerment of Migrant Workers: Ensuring the Effective Implementation of the Sri Lanka National Labour Migration Policy”.

Research

The Future of Labour Migration from Sri Lanka, Research Papers, National Symposium of Labour and Employment 2016,  Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations.

Weeraratne, Bilesha, 2016, Re-Defining Urban Areas in Sri Lanka. Working Paper Series No. 23, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, Colombo.

Weeraratne, B. (2016). Protecting the Welfare of Children and its Causal Effect on Limiting Mother’s Labour Migration, in  International Migration, vol 54. No 5.

Kelegama, S and Weeraratne, B. (2016). Migration and Economic Remittances: Impact on Development, in  Routledge Handbook on Immigration and Refugee Studies edited by Triandafyllidou,  A.  Routledge.

Weeraratne, B. (2014).  Female Domestic Workers in the Middle East : Does Recruitment Through an Agent Minimize Vulnerability ? Published under the Labour Economic Working Paper Series No.18 of Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka.

 

Weeraratne, B. (2012). Essays in unauthorized immigration and migration. City University of New York. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses,  130.

Weeraratne, B & Hasebe, T. (2011). Intergenerational Dynamics in Agriculture as an Economic Activity. In W. Wimalaratana (Ed.), Agriculture and Rural Development in Sri Lanka, University of Colombo.

Weeraratne, B. (2005). Book Review of ‘Future Directions of BIMSTEC towards a Bay of Bengal Economic Community’ in the South Asia Economic Journal Vol. 6 No.1 January-June 2005.

Weerakoon, D, Weeraratne, B. & Thennakoon. J. (2005). Multilateral Agreement on Trade Facilitation: An Important but Complex Agenda for South Asia, inSouth Asian Positions in the WTO Doha Round: In Search of a True Development Agenda, Jaipur, CUTS International.

Weeraratne, B. & Kelegama, S. (2005).  Trade in Textiles and Apparel in South Asia,  in South Asian Year Book of Trade and Development: 2005, CENTAD, New Delhi, India.

Weeraratne, B. (2005). Labour Standards and International Trade: The Case of EU GSP Concessions to Sri Lanka, Working Paper Series of the Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka.

Weeraratne, B. (2004). Textile and Apparel Industry in Sri Lanka: An Empirical Analysis in a Globalization Setting (2004). published under the Working Paper Series of the East-West Center University – Hawaii, USA.

Presentations

Panelist on ‘Change the future of migration – Invest in food security and Rural Development’

Bilesha Weeraratne
At the World Food Day Panel Discussion
Organized by Food and Agriculture Organization, Sri Lanka,
17 October 2017
Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo

The Effect of Recruitment Intermediary’s Informal Status on Negotiating Recruitment Incentives for Migrant Workers

Bilesha Weeraratne
At the New York State Economic Association Annual Conference
Organized by the New York State Economic Association
06 – 07 October 2017
Farmingdale College, New York

Sustainable Financing for Urban Solid Waste Disposal Services in Sri Lanka

Bilesha Weeraratne
At the ADB-Asian Think Tank Development Forum 2017
Organized by the Asian Development Bank, Manila and IPS
20 – 21 September 2017
Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo

Summary of Stakeholder Input

Bilesha Weeraratne
At the National Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration
Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Employment and International Organization for Migration
25 August 2017
Movenpick Hotel, Colombo

Global Compact on Migration: Way Forward for Sri Lanka

Bilesha Weeraratne
At the GCM Sensitization Workshop
Organized by International Organization for Migration, Sri Lanka,
08 August 2017
IPS

Globalization of Family: The Role of the State  

Bilesha Weeraratne
At the AILS Research Workshop: Families, Kin and the State in Sri Lanka,
Organized by the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies
25 July 2017
Galadari Hotel, Colombo

Recruitment of Temporary Migrant Workers & the Evolving Role of Sub-Agents in Sri Lanka,

Bilesha Weeraratne
At the Program Action Committee (PAC) meeting
Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Employment
31 March 2017
Ministry of Foreign Employment, Sri Lanka

Lowering the Costs of Migration.

At the National Consultation Prior to 9th Global Forum on Migration and Development at OZO Hotel, Organized by the ILO and the Ministry of Foreign Employment.
Colombo-Sri Lanka
December 06, 2016

Impact Evaluation of MathCloud in Sri Lanka

At the Regional Workshop on MathCloud, organized by the Asian Development Bank, Philippines
Korea
November 14-15, 2016.

Coastal Tourism and Urbanization in Sri Lanka

At the Second IORA Blue Economy Dialogue on ‘Sectoral Cooperation in Blue Economy in the Indian Ocean Region Organized by Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS)
New Delhi- India
November 5, 2016

Future of Labour Migration in Sri Lanka

At the National Symposium of Labour and Employment, organized by the Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations
Colombo- Sri Lanka
November 4, 2016

Labour Market Analysis for Labour Migration Policy Planning – Initiatives in Sri Lanka

At the Colombo Process Regional Workshop on Labour Market Research, organized by the Colombo Process Technical Support Unit of International Organization for Migration

Colombo- Sri Lanka

June 1 2016

Low-skilled labor migration – Value chain analysis of migration cost

At the workshop on Measuring Migration Costs for the Low-skilled organized by  KNOMAD, The World Bank

Washington DC- USA

November 16-17, 2015

 

Female Domestic Workers in the Middle East: Does Recruitment Through an Agent Minimize Vulnerability?

At the conference on South Asian Economic Development: The Way Forward, organized by the South Asian University

New Delhi- India

Delhi. April 9, 2015

Labour Migration and Development: Perspectives from Sri Lanka

At the International Conference on Jobs for Development: Challenges and Solutions, organized by the India Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and World Bank

New Delhi-India

December 2, 2014

Female Domestic Workers in the Middle East: Does Recruitment Through an Agent Minimize Vulnerability?

At the New York State Economic Association Annual Conference, USA, organized by the New York State Economic Association

New York-USA

October 11, 2014

A quasi-experiment on the effect of e-learning on students’ mathematics scores and attitudes in Sri Lanka

At the New York State Economic Association Annual Conference, USA, organized by the New York State Economic Association

New York-USA

October 11, 2014

A quasi-experiment on the effect of e-learning on students’ mathematics scores and attitudes in Sri Lanka

At the conference on Making impact evaluation matter: Better Evidence for Effective Policies and Programmes organized by Asian Development Bank, Philippines

Philipines

September 5, 2014

Female Domestic Workers in the Middle East: Does Recruitment Through an Agent Minimize Vulnerability?

At the conference on Policies for Mainstreaming Migration into development in Sri Lanka, organized by the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka

Colombo-Sri Lanka

August 14, 2014

Vulnerability of Female Domestic Workers of Sri Lankan Origin

At the Steering Committee on Labour Migration in Sri Lanka, Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka

Colombo-Sri Lanka

June 17, 2014

A Micro Analysis of Contextual Determinants of Labor Migration in Sri Lanka

At the in-house seminar series of the Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka

Colombo-Sri Lanka

May 29, 2014

Impact Evaluation of the Khan Academy E-Learning Project

Inauguration workshop of the TA 7872: Learning from e-learning: Testing Intelligent Learning Systems in South Asian Countries, organized by the Asian Development Bank

Colombo-Sri Lanka

April 3, 2014

Does Past Unauthorized Immigrant Status Result in a Wage Penalty for Legalized Immigrants?

At the American Economic Association (AEA) annual meeting

Philadelphia-USA

January 4, 2014

A Microdata-based Approach to Identify Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States

At the Princeton Research Symposium

New Jersey-USA

November 17, 2012

A Microdata-based Approach to Identify Illegal Immigrants in United States

At the Applied Economics Seminar, Graduate Center, City University of New York

New York-USA

November 1, 2011

A Microdata-based Approach to Identify Illegal Immigrants in United States

At the conference on (New) Debates on Belonging organized by The Graduate Center Immigration Working Group of the City University of New York

New York-USA

October 2011

Marketing Labour Standards & the EU GSP Scheme: Problems and Prospects

National Workshop on EU GSP Scheme organized by the EU Delegation in Colombo & the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)

Colombo-Sri Lanka

September 2004

Textile and Apparel Industry in Sri Lanka: An Empirical Analysis in a Globalization Setting

At the 3rd International Student Conference of ,  East West Centre University

Hawaii-USA

in February 2004

Commentary
Blogs

Decrease in Remittances in 2015: Glitch or Beginning of the End?,

Talking Economics, 18 December 2016

Talking Economics, 18 December 2016

Upfront Incentives: Carrot for Migrants & Cash for Others,

Talking Economics, 18 December 2015

Sri Lanka’s Balancing Act of Promoting International Migration while Protecting the Well-being of Migrants and their Families

Talking Economics (2014-08-11)

Where Do Migrant Workers Fit in Sri Lanka’s Population?

Talking Economics (2014-10-07)

 

Upfront Incentives: Carrot for Migrants & Cash for Others

Talking Economics

 

Media

Panelist at the Discussion on the Socio- Economic Impact of Sri Lankan Migrant Workers and Modern Day Slavery (Bali Process) at the Face the Nation,

Live Television Show Broadcasted on TV1 – 06 September 2017

Minimizing vulnerability of Sri Lankan female domestic workers

Island (2014-11-04): p. 3

 

Restrictions on female migrant workers discriminatory or improving family wellbeing?

Daily Mirror (2014-12-18); : p. 6

 

Text-bombs of unsolicited promotional messages: Do consumers have control over their personal information?

DailyFT (2015.06.25): p.13

 

Unsolicited promotional messages : do consumers have control over their privacy?

Island (2015-06-29): p. 4

 

Sri Lanka’s election pledges : do we really need that many new jobs?

Daily Mirror (2015-08-14): p. 13

 

Can we produce better estimates of urbanization in Sri Lanka?

Island (2016-04-06); p. 03