Saumitra Jha

Saumitra   Jha
Associate Professor, Political Economy
Contact Info
SaumitraJha
Associate Professor of Political Economy
Associate Professor of Political Science (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences
Winnick Family Faculty Fellow for 2017-2018
Academic Area: 
Political Economy

Research Statement

Saumitra's research focuses upon understanding the effectiveness of organizations and innovations that societies have developed to address the problems of violence and other political risks, and to seek new lessons for fostering peace and development. So far, his research has focused on understanding and empirically assessing the effectiveness of four related approaches: (1) mechanisms that support inter-ethnic complementarities and trade, (2) financial innovations that can allow conflictual groups to credibly share in the gains from peace, (3) organizational innovations that can sustain non-violent political movements at scale, and (4) mechanisms that recognize and productively channel the organizational skills of veterans acquired during war. Saumitra has a specific interest in the South Asian experience in comparative perspective.

Bio

Saumitra Jha is an Associate Professor of Political Economy at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and, by courtesy, of Economics and of Political Science.

Saumitra holds a BA from Williams College, master’s degrees in economics and mathematics from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD in economics from Stanford University. Prior to joining the GSB, he was an Academy Scholar at Harvard University. He has been a Fellow of the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance and the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University and received the Michael Wallerstein Award for best published article in Political Economy from the American Political Science Association in 2014 for his research on ethnic tolerance. Saumitra has consulted on economic and political risk issues for the United Nations/ WTO and the World Bank.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Economics, Stanford University, 2006
  • Master of Advanced Study: Mathematics (Part III), University of Cambridge, 2001
  • Master of Philosophy: Economics, Cambridge University, 2000
  • BA summa cum laude, with highest honors: Economics and Mathematics, Williams College, 1999

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Political Economy, and by courtesy of Economics and Political Science, Stanford University 2013-2017
  • Assistant Professor of Political Economy, and by courtesy of Economics and Political Science, Stanford University 2008-2013
  • Fellow, Center for Study of Democratic Politics and Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, Princeton University, 2012-2013
  • Academy Scholar, Harvard University, 2006-2008

Professional Experience

  • Consultant, World Bank, 2001, 2008, 2011
  • Editor, International Trade Center, UNCTAD/WTO, 1998

Awards and Honors

  • Winnick Family Faculty Fellow, 2017-2018
  • Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies Award, 2015
  • Michael Wallerstein Award for best published article in Political Economy in previous year, American Political Science Association, 2014
  • John A. Gunn & Cynthia Fry Gunn Faculty Scholar, 2013-2014
  • Fellow, Center for Study of Democratic Politics, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, 2012
  • Fellow, Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, Princeton University, 2012
  • John A. Gunn and Cynthia Fry Gunn Faculty Scholar, 2011-2012
  • Academy Scholar, Harvard University, 2006-2008
  • Koret Foundation Dissertation Fellow, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, 2005
  • Herchel Smith Scholar, Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, 1999-2001
  • Carl Van Duyne Prize in Economics, Williams College, 1999
  • Phi Beta Kappa (junior year), Williams College, 1998

Publications

Journal Articles

Saumitra Jha, Moses Shayo. The Political Economist. April 2016, Vol. XII, Issue 1.
Saumitra Jha. Quarterly Journal of Economics. August 2015, Vol. 103, Issue 3.
Saumitra Jha. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. August 2014, Vol. 104, Pages 18-36.
Rikhil Bhavnani, Saumitra Jha. Economics of Peace and Security Journal. April 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 1, Pages 80-92.
Saumitra Jha. World Financial Review. 20, 2013.
Saumitra Jha. Business and Politics. 2013, Vol. 15, Issue 1, Pages 117–136.
Saumitra Jha. American Political Science Review. 2013, Vol. 107, Issue 4.
Saumitra Jha, Steven Wilkinson. American Political Science Review. 2012, Vol. 106, Issue 4, Pages 883-907.
Saumitra Jha. Institutions and comparative economic development. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, Pages 131-151.
Radu Ban, Saumitra Jha, Vijayendra Rao. Journal of Development Economics. 2012, Vol. 99, Issue 2, Pages 428–438.
Yadira Gonzalez de Lara, Avner Greif, Saumitra Jha. American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings. 2008, Vol. 98, Issue 2, Pages 105-109.
Saumitra Jha, Vijayendra Rao, Michael Woolcock. World Development. 2007, Vol. 35, Issue 2, Pages 230-246.
Saumitra Jha. Economics of Peace and Security Journal. 2007, Vol. 2, Issue 2, Pages 89-93.

Teaching

Degree Courses

2017-18

This course addresses managerial issues in the social, political and legal environments of business. Cases and readings emphasize strategies to improve the performance of companies in light of their multiple constituencies, in both within the US...

This course surveys emerging research in political economics as it applies to developing societies, emphasizing both theoretical and empirical approaches. Topics will include: corruption and "forensic" political economics, institutional reform...

2016-17

This course addresses managerial issues in the social, political and legal environments of business. Cases and readings emphasize strategies to improve the performance of companies in light of their multiple constituencies, in both within the US...

This course surveys emerging research in political economics as it applies to developing societies, emphasizing both theoretical and empirical approaches. Topics will include: corruption and "forensic" political economics, institutional reform...

Teaching Materials

  • POLECON 683 Political Development Economics Syllabus PDF

Stanford University Affiliations

Greater Stanford University

Service to the Profession

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Development Economics, 2016-
  • Faculty Fellow, Association for Analytic Learning about Islam and Muslim Societies, 2012-present
  • Academic Advisory Board, Growth Innovation and Leadership University, Malaysia
  • Member, American Economic Association, American Political Science Association
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Comparative Economics, 2017-

In the Media

Stanford Report, October 29, 2014
Saumitra Jha suggests that new evidence calls for a reinterpretation of Gandhi's non-violent movement for independence in India. He explains how today's democratic movements can benefit by adopting lessons from India's independence movement and its iconic leader.
The Business Standard, September 26, 2009
The Indian Express, September 26, 2009
Rediff, September 26, 2009
The Indian Express, November 6, 2009
The Indian Express, October 13, 2008
The New York Sun, May 24, 2008

Insights by Stanford Business

May 2, 2017
The divide between urban and rural voters is growing everywhere: from New York City to farm towns.
January 30, 2017
By a large margin, more people saw actual election news, not the fabricated kind.
April 29, 2015
A Stanford scholar explains why financial mechanisms could be useful to align diverse interests.
February 28, 2014
A political economist explores how commerce can help promote peace.
October 9, 2012
An economist shows how financial innovation can align incentives and help reduce ethnic violence.
August 1, 2009
How slums are run depends on a variety of factors, such as their ethnic makeup, political connections, and how long they have been established.

School News

June 2, 2017
In the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election, a workshop series was launched to help students move beyond political conflict.