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Professor of Public Policy and Director of Global Lab for Research in Action, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

Manisha Shah is Professor of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Shah also serves as Director of the Global Lab for Research in Action. Shah is also a Faculty Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Faculty Affiliate at UC Berkeley’s Center for Effective Global Action, The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and The Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development, and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor. Shah is an economist who received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley.

Shah's 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 also works in the area of child health and education. Shah has been the PI on various impact evaluations and randomized controlled trials and is currently leading projects in Tanzania, Indonesia, and India. She has also worked extensively in Ecuador and Mexico. Her research has been supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the World Bank, and the National Science Foundation among others.


  • 2019–present
    Director & Founder, The Global Lab for Research in Action at UCLA
  • 2013–2021
    Professor, UCLA Department of Public Policy


  • 2006 
    UC Berkeley, Ph.D. Agricultural & Resource Economics
  • 2003 
    UC Berkeley, M.S. Agricultural & Resource Economics
  • 1997 
    London School of Economics & Political Science, M.Sc. Development Studies
  • 1995 
    UC Berkeley, B.A. Economics and Development Studies