Our research seeks to identify new ideas from economics, finance and organizations that we can use to mitigate conflict and political polarization.
A fundamental challenge facing many developing societies is to reduce the central role of violence and its threat in shaping politics and economic under-performance. A common thread of our research is to understand the effectiveness of organizations and innovations that societies have developed to address the problem of violence in the past and to seek new lessons for solving such political economy challenges in contemporary developing societies.
- Civil and Ethnic Conflict in Historical Political Economy, forthcoming, Oxford Handbook of Historical Political Economy. Revised from Stanford GSB Research Paper 4034 (longer version), July 2022.
- Pandemic Spikes and Broken Spears: Indigenous Resilience after the Conquest of Mexico, with Alberto Diaz-Cayeros and Juan Espinosa-Balbuena, forthcoming, Journal of Historical Political Economy, revised from Stanford GSB Research Paper 3977, August 2021.
- Coverage: VoxEU
- Valuing Peace: The Effects of Stock Market Exposure on Votes and Political Attitudes, with Moses Shayo, Econometrica, Vol. 87, No. 5, pp.1561-1588, September 2019, revised from Stanford GSB Research Paper 3389, February 2019.
- Trading for Peace, Economic Policy, Vol. 33, No. 95, pp.485-526, July 2018, revised from “A Theory of Ethnic Tolerance” (Stanford GSB Research Paper 17-84)
- Coverage: VoxEU
- Financial Market Exposure Raises Support for Peace, with Moses Shayo, The Political Economist, APSA, February 2016
- Financial Asset Holdings and Political Attitudes: Evidence from Revolutionary England, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 103, No.3, August 2015, revised from “Financial Innovations and Political Development: Evidence from 17th Century England” (Stanford GSB Working Paper No. 2005), 2008.
- `Unfinished Business’: Historic Complementarities, Political Competition and Ethnic Violence in Gujarat, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 104, pp.18-36, August 2014, revised from NBER working paper 19203, 2013.
- Coverage: Stanford GSB Insights.
- Gandhi’s Gift: Lessons for Peaceful Reform from India’s Struggle for Democracy, with Rikhil Bhavnani, Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp.80-92, April 2014, revised from Stanford GSB Working Paper 2143
- Coverage: Stanford Report
- Trade, Institutions and Ethnic Tolerance: Evidence from S. Asia, American Political Science Review, November 2013, Winner of the 2014 Michael Wallerstein Award for best published article in political economy in the previous calendar year from the American Political Science Association.
- Analyzing Political Risk in Developing Countries: A Practical Framework for Project Managers, Business and Politics, April 2013
- Can Financial Innovations Mitigate Ethnic and Civil Conflict? World Financial Review, March 2013
- Does Combat Experience Foster Organizational Skill? Evidence from Ethnic Cleansing During the Partition of South Asia, with Steven Wilkinson, American Political Science Review, November 2012
- Who has Voice in a Deliberative Democracy? Evidence from Transcripts of Village Parliaments in South India, with Radu Ban and Vijayendra Rao, Journal of Development Economics, November 2012
- Sharing the Future: Financial Solutions to the Political Economy Challenges of Development, in Institutions and Comparative Economic Development, edited by Masahiko Aoki, Timur Kuran and Gerard Roland, Volume I of the Proceedings of the 16th World Congress of the International Economic Association, IEA Conference Series 150: Palgrave Macmillan, November 2012
- The Administrative Foundations of Self-Enforcing Constitutions, with Avner Greif and Yadira Gonzalez de Lara: The American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, May 2008
- Maintaining Peace Across Ethnic Lines: New Lessons from the Past: Economics of Peace and Security Journal, July 2007
- Governance in the Gullies: Democratic Responsiveness and Leadership in Delhi’s Slums, with Vijayendra Rao and Michael Woolcock: World Development, February 2007
Newer versions of these working papers may be available: please email Saumitra Jha if you are interested.
- Heroes and Villains, CEPR Discussion Paper, October 2021, with Julia Cage, Anna Dagorret, and Pauline Grosjean, resubmitted to the American Economic Review
- A Theory of Community Formation and Social Hierarchy, Stanford GSB Research Paper 3467, revised December 2021, with Susan Athey and Emilio Calvano, revision requested at the Journal of the European Economic Association
- Trading Stocks Builds Financial Confidence and Compresses the Gender Gap, Stanford GSB Research Paper 3673, revised November 2021, with Moses Shayo, revision requested at the Economic Journal.
- Markets under Siege: How Differences in Political Beliefs can move Financial Markets, Stanford GSB Research Paper 4012, February 2022, with Peter Koudijs and Marcos Salgado
- Conquered but Not Vanquished: Complementarities and Indigenous Entrepreneurs in the Shadow of Violence, June 2016, with Alberto Diaz-Cayeros
- Forging a Non-Violent Mass Movement: Economic Shocks and Organizational Innovations in India’s Struggle for Democracy, October 2018, with Rikhil Bhavnani
- Coverage: Stanford Report
Teaching notes for each of these cases are available — please email Saumitra Jha.
- International Political Strategy and the Climate Crisis: The CAFE Clash, with Vyoma Jha, Stanford Graduate School of Business Case P-101, 2020
- Navigating Local Politics: Zum in Coronado, Stanford Graduate School of Business Case P-100, 2020
- Overcoming Political Opposition: CNG Mandates in Delhi, Stanford Graduate School of Business Case P-79A-C, November 2012
- Managing Local Political Risk: Parking the Tata Nano, with Debra Schifrin, Stanford Graduate School of Business Case P-78A-C, March 2012
- Jet Airways (A): Weathering Turbulence, and Jet Airways (B): A Bumpy Landing with Nathan T. Blair, Stanford Graduate School of Business Case P-60A-B, February 2009
- Surviving the Conquest: inter-ethnic complementarities and indigenous resilience to pandemics and war in Mexico, with Alberto Diaz-Cayeros and Juan Espinosa-Balbuena, VoxEU, April 3, 2022
- Tolerance by Accident, Trust by Design, Public Books, October 21, 2021
- My 9 year old son trades stocks on Robinhood. It isn’t all risky bets, USA Today, July 7, 2021
- De Verdun à Vichy, de héros a traîtres- évolution politiques des anciens combattants, with Julia Cagé, Anna Dagorret and Pauline Grosjean, AOC, February 5, 2021
- Heroes and Villains: The Effects of Combat Heroism on Autocratic Values and Nazi Collaboration in Wartime France, with Julia Cagé, Anna Dagorret, and Pauline Grosjean, VoxEU, January 17, 2021
- Office Artifact: Saumitra Jha’s Arabic astrolabe, by Steve Hawk, 2020
- Stanford business students present awards for teaching and service, by Catherine Falge, 2020
- A New Kind of Peace Studies: The Stock Market, by Edmund Andrews, March 27, 2018
- Drawing the Line: The short and long-term consequences of Partitioning India, with Prashant Bharadwaj, VoxDev, August 15, 2017
- How Financial Innovation helped start the English Civil War, and why that’s important today, by Ted Kinni, April 29, 2015
- Gandhi’s nonviolent approach offers lessons for peace movements, by Clifton Parker, October 29, 2014
- Is there an Economic Solution to Violence?, by Eilene Zimmerman, February 28, 2014
- Why Peace Can Pay, by Kathleen O’Toole, October 9, 2012
- Cities of Difference, the Indian Express, October 6, 2009
- India’s Slums Represent Complex Political and Social Issues, by Dave Murphy, August 1, 2009
Saumitra Jha is is an associate professor of political economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a senior fellow at FSI, and convenes the Stanford Conflict and Polarization Lab. He is also a professor, by courtesy, of the Stanford Departments of Economics and of Political Science, and a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
Jha's research focuses on understanding the effectiveness of organizations and innovations that societies have developed to address the problems of violence and political risk in the past and to develop new lessons for contemporary policy.