Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences Experts

Shelby Grossman

Department of Political Science
The University of Memphis
United States of America

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 Interest

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


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

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

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