Shelby Grossman

Shelby Grossman

Assistant Professor

407 Clement Hall
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About Shelby Grossman

Shelby Grossman joined the Political Science department in 2017. Her research focuses on the political economy of development, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa.  In her book project, which uses original survey data collected in Lagos, Nigeria from 1,878 randomly sampled traders, along with market case studies, she investigates the conditions under which private organizations promote economic activity.  She finds that strong markets maintain sophisticated institutions to support trade not in the absence of government, but rather as a response to active state interference.  Shelby has additional projects in Nigeria, including one looking at whether reputation affects contracting frictions (with Meredith Startz).

Research Interests

political economy of development, private governance, market institutions, Sub-Saharan Africa, survey methods, politics and public health

Teaching Interests

Political economy of development; African politics; Comparative politics; Politic of public health; Survey methods


Ph.D., Government, Harvard University, 2016; M.A., Government, Harvard University, 2012; B.A., Political Science, Emory University, 2006


Postdoctoral Fellow, Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, Stanford University (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)


Grossman, Shelby, Jonathan Phillips, and Leah Rosenzweig. (forthcoming) "Opportunistic Accountability: State-Society Bargaining Over Shared Interests" Comparative Political Studies.

Grossman, Shelby and Dan Honig. (forthcoming) "Evidence from Lagos on Discrimination across Ethnic and Class Identities in Informal Trade." World Development.