Aashish Mehta

Associate Professor

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


I am a development economist.  Born and raised in India, I trained in economics, development studies and energy policy.  Prior to joining UCSB I served as an economist at the Asian Development Bank, where I worked on electricity sector reforms, macroeconomic monitoring, and the economics of education and employment. I returned to the academy in 2007, joining UCSB's Global Studies program to study development and globalization alongside colleagues attacking these issues from multiple disciplinary perspectives, and to work with students pursuing interesting policy questions.

I teach courses in political-economy, economic development, public policy and social science research methods.  I enjoy advising (or better yet, co-advising) students whose research seeks practical solutions to pressing social problems. Previous advisees have studied agricultural development, gender inequality, climate change, aid effectiveness, the distribution of merit goods, labor rights and various models to enable the survival of socially responsible businesses.

Academic Vita

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


My core research focuses on the connections between employment, education, inclusive development and globalization. Recent papers in this area examine the claim that globalization has rendered national labor markets increasingly interconnected, document ways that globalization has made it difficult for countries to grow through manufacturing job creation, and ask how education contributes to industrial upgrading.

I also work with collaborators across the discipilnes to study how growth and social change alter the political-economy of public services provision. One major project in this area asks why economic growth in low-income democracies results in serious efforts to combat corruption in some public services but not in others.  Another shows how US public universities, faced with growing numbers of disadvantaged students and dwindling public budgets, increasingly exclude disadvantaged students from their most lucrative fields of study.


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

Journal Articles

Click on titles for final journal articles and working paper links for non-paywalled versions.


  • Metrics that Matter: Student life in the quantified university (with Zachary Bleemer, Christopher Muellerleile, Mukul Kumar and Christopher  Newfield). Johns Hopkins University Press (forthcoming).

Working Papers

Book Chapters and Reports

Invited Online Articles

In the works..

  • Major restrictions and student stratification (with Zachary Bleemer)
  • What does economic growth do to public services corruption? (with Amit Ahuja).
  • Does studying economics change your political perspective (with Zachary Bleemer)
  • Trade liberalization and inequality as if Businessmen existed (with Andrew Dawson, Miguel Flores Segovia and Asha Sundaram)
  • Does the US Nanotechnology sector suffer a skills gap? (with Stacey Frederick and Rachel Parker)
  • Making sense of India's manufacturing "skill gaps" (with Deboshree Ghosh)


Global 130: Global Economy and Development [syllabus –Spring 2017]
Global 136: Global Imbalances  [syllabus - Spring 2017]
Global 224: Global Studies Research Methods [syllabus - Fall 2018]
Global 234: Globalization and Markets (a.k.a. Microeconomics for Global Studies) [syllabus – Winter 2013]
Global 236: Macroeconomics for Global Studies [syllabus – Spring 2016]