Ravikumar's research on human capital covers a wide range of topics: from public education financing determined by the majority to economic growth and inequality. He has been a member of the faculty at the University of Virginia, the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Iowa. He is currently part of the Research Division at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
Ravikumar received a B.S. in Physics from the University of Bombay in 1978, a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in 1981, a M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the National Institute For Training in Industrial Engineering, a M.S. in Economics from Carnegie Mellon University in 1985, and a Ph.D. in Economics from The University of Iowa in 1989.