Manisha Shah


Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Faculty Cluster Leader, Global Health and Social Services

Home Department: Public Policy

Areas of Interest

Economics, Global Health, HIV/AIDS, International Development, Maternal/Child Health.




Manisha Shah is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a Faculty Affiliate at UC Berkeley’s Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). She received her Ph.D. in agriculture and resource economics from UC Berkeley. Prior to joining UCLA, Shah was an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at UC Irvine. She is a development economist whose primary research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of applied microeconomics, health, and development. She has written several papers on the economics of sex markets in order to learn how more effective policies and programs can be deployed to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. She has also worked extensively in the area of child health and development. Shah is currently leading a randomized evaluation of a sanitation intervention in rural Indonesia to understand the causal impacts of improved sanitation on child health outcomes. Much of her research involves primary data collection and fieldwork, and she has worked extensively in Mexico, Ecuador, Indonesia, and India.

Selected Research

1. “Can Mistargeting Destroy Social Capital and Stimulate Crime? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Program in Indonesia” (with L. Cameron), forthcoming in Economic Development and Cultural Change. 

2.” Compensated for Life: Sex Work and Disease Risk” (with R. Arunachalam),  Journal of Human Resources, Spring 2013, 48:345-369.

3. “To Work or Not to Work? Child Development and Maternal Labor Supply” (with P. Frijters, D. Johnston, and M. Shields), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, July 2009, 1(3): 97-110.