Manisha Shah

Manisha Shah is Vice-Chair and Professor of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Shah also serves as Director of International Development and Policy Outreach (IDPO@UCLA). She 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 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 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. Follow Shah on Twitter @Manisha_econ.

Google Scholar Citations

Published and Forthcoming Articles

Workfare and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from India (with B. Steinberg), NBER Working Paper 21543. forthcoming Journal of Human Resources.
Media Coverage: NBER Digest

The Right to Education Act: Trends in Enrollment, Test Scores, and School Quality (with B. Steinberg). AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, May 2019, vol. 109, pages 232-238. NBER Version of Paper with appendix here.
Media Coverage: : VoxEU, IdeasForIndia

Scaling Up Sanitation: Evidence from an RCT in Indonesia (with L. Cameron and S. Olivia),  Journal of Development Economics, May 2019, vol 138.

Decriminalizing Prostitution: Implications for Sexual Violence and Public Health (with S. Cunningham). The Review of Economic Studies, July 2018, 85(3):1683–1715.
Selected Media Coverage: Vox, Slate, Washington Post, WSJ, LA Weekly, UCLA, KCRW interview, WHYY show, Seriouspod Podcast

Drought of Opportunities: Contemporaneous and Long Term Impacts of Rainfall Shocks on Human Capital (with B. Steinberg),  Journal of Political Economy, April 2017, 125(2).
Blog about paper: Ideas for India

Risk-Taking Behavior in the Wake of Natural Disasters  (with L. Cameron), Journal of Human Resources, Spring 2015, 50(2): 484-515.
Media Coverage: The Huffington Post

Can Mistargeting Destroy Social Capital and Stimulate Crime? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Program in Indonesia (with L. Cameron), Economic Development and Cultural Change, January 2014, 62(2): 381-415.

Do Sex Workers Respond to Disease? Evidence from the Male Market for Sex,  American Economic Review Papers & Proceedings, 2013, 103(3): 445-50.

Intra-household Resource Allocation: Do Parents Reduce or Reinforce Child Cognitive Ability Gaps? (with P. Frijters, D. Johnston, and M. Shields), Demography, December 2013, 50:6.

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

Face Value: Information and Signaling in an Illegal Market (with T. Logan), Southern Economic Journal. 2013. 79(3), 529-564.

Handedness, Health and Cognitive Development: Evidence from Children in the NLSY (with D. Johnston, M. Nicholls, and M. Shields), Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A (Statistics in Society), 2012. 

The Prostitute’s Allure: The Return to Beauty in Commercial Sex Work (with R. Arunachalam), B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 2012.

Sex Work and Infection: What’s Law Enforcement Got to Do with it? (with P. Gertler), Journal of Law and Economics, November 2011, 54.
Media Coverage: The Economist

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.

Nature’s Experiment? Handedness and Early Childhood Development  (with D. Johnston, M. Nicholls, and M. Shields), Demography, May 2009, 46(2): 281-302.

Prostitutes and Brides? (with R. Arunachalam),  American Economic Review Papers & Proceedings, May 2008, 98(2), 516-522.

Risky Business: The Market for Unprotected Commercial Sex (with P. Gertler and S. Bertozzi),  Journal of Political Economy, June 2005, 113(3), 518-550.
Media Coverage: NYTimes, Slate

Books and Handbook Chapters

The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Prostitution. Scott Cunningham and Manisha Shah, editors. Oxford University Press, 2016.

Sex Work and Risky Sex in Developing Countries, In: Anthony J. Culyer (editor), Encyclopedia of Health Economics, Vol 3. San Diego: Elsevier; 2014. pp. 311-315.

Sex Work, with V. Rao, In The New Oxford Companion to Economics in India (Kaushik Basu and Annemie Maertens, editors), Delhi: Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2012.

Working Papers (Please email for most recent version)

Crimes against Morality: Unintended Consequences of Criminalizing Sex Work (with L. Cameron and J. Muz), 2019

Aggregate effects from public works: Evidence from India (with J. Cook), 2019.

How Does Health Promotion Work? Evidence From The Dirty Business of Eliminating Open Defecation (with P. Gertler, M. Alzua, L. Cameron, S. Martinez, and S. Patil). NBER Working Paper 20997.

Neal Halfon

Dr. Halfon received an MD from the University of California, Davis, and a MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. He completed his pediatric residency at UC San Diego and UC San Francisco. Dr. Halfon was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at both UC San Francisco and Stanford.

He has published the results of research on immunizations for inner-city children, health care needs to children in foster care, trends in chronic illnesses for children, delivery of health care services for children with asthma, and investigations of new models of health service delivery for high-risk children. Dr. Halfon recently co-authored and co-edited Child Rearing in America: Challenges Facing Parents with Young Children with Kathryn Taaffe McLearn and Mark A. Shuster. In this volume Dr. Halfon and a team of experts analyze findings from recent nationwide surveys, offering new insights into parenting beliefs and practices that can help to bring about more family-responsive and holistic child health and developmental services. Dr. Halfon also led the team that developed and implemented the 2000 National Survey of Early Childhood Health, and supervised the analysis of that survey, and the resulting special supplement to the journal Pediatrics which will be published in the fall of 2003.

Dr. Halfon’s primary research interests include the provision of developmental service to young children, access to care for low-income children, and delivery of health services to children with special health care needs — with a particular interest in abused and neglected children who are in the foster care system. His recent work attempts to define a developmentally-focused model of health production across the life course, and to understand the implications of such an approach for the delivery and financing of health care. He is currently co-chair of the Health Services Working Group for the planned National Children’s Study, an effort being led by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Dr Halfon was appointed to the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine in 2001. He has also served on numerous expert panels and advisory committees including the 1999 Institute of Medicine committee commissioned by Surgeon General Satcher to propose the leading health indicators to measure the countries progress on our National Healthy Peoples agenda. He currently serves on a congressionally mandated Committee of the Institute of Medicine to evaluate how children’s health should be measured in the US.

Neal Halfon, MD, MPH is the Director of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, and also directs the Child and Family Health Program in the UCLA School of Public Health, and the federally funded Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s National Center for Infancy and Early Childhood Health Policy Research. Dr. Halfon is a Professor of Pediatrics in the UCLA School of Medicine and Professor of Community Health Sciences in the UCLA School of Public Health, and is Professor of Policy Studies in the School of Public Policy and Social Research and is a also consultant in the Health Program at RAND.

JoAnn Damron-Rodriguez

Dr. Damron-Rodriguez, Retired Adjunct Professor, was awarded a UCLA 2006 Distinguished Teaching Award. This honor, given to selected faculty since 1963, recognizes exemplary teaching and education innovation. She also received the Robert Stevenson Faculty in Residence Award in 1998 and again in 2000. In 2000 she spearheaded the creation of an interdisciplinary GE Honors Cluster class titled “Frontiers in Human Aging: Biomedical, Social, and Policy Perspectives” to explore the reciprocity of biological, psychological, and social dimensions of human aging (http://www.college.ucla.edu/ge/clusters/ge80.html).

She is Co-PI on a statewide Archstone Foundation grant to research geriatric social work labor force demand in California. She is PI of evaluation of the Hartford Foundation funded Social Work Leadership Institute Practicum Partnership Program involving 65 schools of social work. As the Co-Principle Investigator on the Hartford/Archstone Geriatric Social Work Education Consortium (GSWEC), she played a pivotal role in the creation of a new field-training model that advances preparation of competent geriatric social workers.

Dr. Damron-Rodriguez is a federally appointed member of the Veterans Health Administration Gerontology and Geriatrics Advisory Committee, which reports to congress. For 10 years Dr. Damron-Rodriguez was the Associate Director of the VA Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) of Greater Los Angeles and Co-Principle Investigator of a Health Services Research Development project to examine access to healthcare for minority veterans.

Since 1992 JoAnn has been a core faculty for the Bureau of Health Professions funded California Geriatric Education Center. She is on the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) National GeroEd Center Board. She is a Past President of the Board of the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics (CCGG). She has been instrumental in the organization of state legislative hearings in partnership with the Senate Subcommittee on Aging and Long-Term Care and the Senate Committee on Education. Dr. Damron-Rodriguez has testified at both state and federal levels on policy issues, workforce competency standards, and demographic trends related to California’s aging population. She was appointed by Governor Gray Davis to serve on a Blue Ribbon panel to investigate the state nursing homes. She is currently an advisor to the World Health Organization, Kobe Center for Health Development regarding community-based care in developed and developing countries.

Additionally, Dr. Damron-Rodriguez, L.C.S.W., has twenty years of practice experience in health, mental health, and hospice care. She serves on multiple editorial boards and scientific review committees. Dr. Damron-Rodriguez has published extensively on geriatric education, diversity in aging, and community based elder care.