Aashish Mehta

Associate Professor

Office Hours

On Sabbatical.

Office Location

SSMS 2111


Economic Development, Globalization & Structural Transformation, Inequality, Employment, Human Capital, Institutions


Ph.D., Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004
Master's Certificate, Energy Analysis and Policy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2003
M.Sc., Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2000
B.A., Economics, Oberlin College, 1997


Academic Vita

Associate Professor, Global Studies
Research Associate, Broom Center for Demography


My research asks how the democratization of education, expansions in international trade, and changes in the global structure of employment have helped and hindered equitable development. For example, some recent papers ask why developing countries today fail to industrialize. and study the consequences of deindustrialization for inequality, economic growth, and the incentives for men and women to invest in education. Other papers ask why some industries pay higher wages than others, whether national labor markets are becoming more or less intertwined with each other, what trade and services liberalization have done to wages, and what types of policies would improve employment opportunities and combat inequality.

I also study the political-economy of a wide variety of public institutions whose functioning is important for achieving sustainable and equitable development outcomes..  Past and current projects in this area tackle, for example, electricity sector reforms, food subsidy programs, caste and skin-color discrimination, schemes to stabilize commodity prices or pay for ecosystem services, the drivers of humanitarian foreign policy and the effects of economic growth on public services corruption.

Before joining UCSB, I served as an economist at the Asian Development Bank, where I analyzed electricity sector reforms in several Central Asian countries and the Philippines and covered global and Asian macroeconomic developments.


For a complete list of publications, please see my CV, or my Google Scholar page.

Journal Articles

Titles are linked to final journal articles. I also link to free pre-publication working paper versions of all articles that are behind paywalls. Articles are divided roughly by my two broad areas of interest:

Structural change, Economic Development, Employment and Human Capital:

Functioning of Public Institutions:

Working Papers

Select Book Chapters and Reports

Invited Online Articles

In the works..

  • Does the US Nanotechnology sector suffer a skills gap? (with Stacey Frederick and Rachel Parker)
  • What does economic growth do to public services corruption? (with Amit Ahuja).
  • Making sense of India's manufacturing "skill gaps" (with Deboshree Ghosh)
  • Trade Liberalization and Inequality as if Businessmen Existed (with Asha Sundaram and Andrew Dawson)
  • Two concepts of value: The uses of higher education in the humanities and economics (with Chris Newfield and Heather Steffen)


Global 2: Introduction to Global Socioeconomic Processes [syllabus – Spring 2010]
Global 130: Global Economy and Development [syllabus –Spring 2017]
Global 197: Global Imbalances  [syllabus - Spring 2017]
Global 224: Global Studies Research Methods [syllabus - Fall 2017]
Global 234: Globalization and Markets (a.k.a. Microeconomics for Global Studies) [syllabus – Winter 2013]
Global 236: Macroeconomics for Global Studies [syllabus – Spring 2016]