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.
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.