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Saumitra Jha - Historic Complementarities, Political Competition & Ethnic Violence in Gujarat

Biography

Stanford Graduate School of Business
Associate Professor of 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

Teaching

Degree Courses

2017-18

GSBGEN 350: International Internship

POLECON 239: MSx: Strategy Beyond Markets

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...

POLECON 683: Political Development Economics

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

POLECON 239: MSx: Strategy Beyond Markets

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...

POLECON 683: Political Development Economics

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...

In the Media

Gandhi's non-violent approach offers lessons for peace movements

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.

Cities of Difference

The Indian Express, November 6, 2009

Indian Slums or Economic Hubs?

Rediff, September 26, 2009

India’s Slums Represent Complex Political and Social Issues

The Business Standard, September 26, 2009

Indian Slums Are incredibly Productive

The Indian Express, September 26, 2009

Low Walls Make Good Neighbours

The Indian Express, October 13, 2008

The Austrian Model

The New York Sun, May 24, 2008

Insights by Stanford Business

writtenPolitical Polarization’s Geographic Roots Run Deep

May 2, 2017

The divide between urban and rural voters is growing everywhere: from New York City to farm towns.

writtenThis Just In: Fake News Probably Has Less Impact Than You Think

January 30, 2017

By a large margin, more people saw actual election news, not the fabricated kind.

writtenSaumitra Jha: How Financial Innovation Helped Start the English Civil War (and Why That’s Important Today)

April 29, 2015

A Stanford scholar explains why financial mechanisms could be useful to align diverse interests.

writtenSaumitra Jha: Is There an Economic Solution to Ethnic Violence?

February 28, 2014

A political economist explores how commerce can help promote peace.

writtenSaumitra Jha: How Peace Can Pay

October 9, 2012

An economist shows how financial innovation can align incentives and help reduce ethnic violence.

writtenIndia's Slums Represent Complex Political and Social Issues

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.

Read about executive education

Cases

Managing Local Political Risk, Parking the Tata Nano (A) | P78A Saumitra Jha, Debra Schifrin2012

Managing Local Political Risk, Parking the Tata Nano (B) | P78B Saumitra Jha, Debra Schifrin2012

Managing Local Political Risk, Parking the Tata Nano (C) | P78C Saumitra Jha, Debra Schifrin2012

Overcoming Political Opposition, Compressed Natural Gas Mandates in Delhi (A) | P79A Saumitra Jha2012

Overcoming Political Opposition: Compressed Natural Gas Mandates in Delhi (B) | P79B Saumitra Jha2012

Overcoming Political Opposition: Compressed Natural Gas Mandates in Delhi (C) | P79C Saumitra Jha2012

Jet Airways (A): Weathering Turbulence | P60A Nathan Blair, Saumitra Jha2009

Jet Airways (B): A Bumpy Landing | P60B Nathan Blair, Saumitra Jha2008

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