Shanti Gamper-Rabindran

Associate Professor 
3621 Posvar Hall                                                                                                   
Faculty Website
Curriculum vitae


  • PhD, Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • MSc, Environmental Management, Oxford (Rhodes Scholar)

  • BA, Jurisprudence, Oxford (Rhodes Scholar)

  • AB, Economics and Environmental Science, Harvard (summa cum laude)


Shanti Gamper-Rabindran, an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, is the contributing editor of The Shale Dilemma: A Global Perspective of Fracking and Shale Development (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017). That interdisciplinary volume, which brought together leading scholars working in eight countries to examine how and why countries decide to pursue shale (or not), won early praise from global energy and environmental experts.  She has participated in national and international workshops on environmental and energy policies and lectured widely at conferences aimed at academics, policymakers, and the general public; and at universities. She organized two interdisciplinary international energy and environmental conferences at the University of Pittsburgh in 2014 and 2015, bringing together academics and policymakers in the US, Europe and emerging economies to discuss energy challenges. She has published a wide-range of papers on policy tools to manage industrial risks (e.g., regulation, information disclosure and corporate social responsibility programs), and on the economic and public health impacts of environmental and development policies (e.g. piped water provision, cleanup of hazardous waste sites and trade liberalization). Her multidisciplinary training in economics, environmental management and law has shaped her research approach and the graduate level courses she teaches on global issues, i.e., energy, environment, health, economic development, and sustainability. Her work has been funded by the National Research Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Teaching and Research Areas

Energy, Environment, Health and Development: Economics and Politics

  • Energy development: economics, politics and law (e.g. shale, renewable energy)Industries, pollution and occupational hazards (regulations, information disclosure,  Corporate Social Responsibility)
  • Industries, pollution and occupational hazards (regulations, information disclosure,  Corporate Social Responsibility)
  • Environmental and health impact of development policies (e.g. piped water provision, trade liberalization).
  • Hazardous waste cleanup policies (benefits/gentrification effects)

Select Publications

Edited Book

Energy development: economics, politics and law (e.g. shale, renewable energy)S. Gamper-Rabindran (ed.) The Shale Dilemma: A Global Perspective on Fracking and Shale Development,  University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017

Book chapters 

Chapters in S. Gamper-Rabindran (ed.) The Shale Dilemma, 2018

  • Introduction: The Shale Dilemma

  • Chapter 2: United States  Mixed Fortunes: The Risks and Rewards of Developing Shale Gas 

  • Chapter 3: United States:  Should Benefits and Costs be Spread More Evenly? Political Battles over Local Government Powers, Taxation, Regulation, and Disclosure

  • Conclusion: How and Why Countries Decide on Shale, and How They Can Make Better Decisions

Journal articles

  • S.Gamper-Rabindran, Markets, states and the federal government in the transition to wind energy, Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law (Symposium Issue), forthcoming

  • K. Neville, J. Baka, S. Gamper-Rabindran, K. Bakker, S. Andreasson, A.Vengosh, A. Lin, J.N. Singh, and E.Weinthal. Debating unconventional energy: social, political and economic implications, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 42(1) 2017

  • S. Gamper-Rabindran. Information collection, access and dissemination for evidence-based shale policies. Energy Technology, 2(12): 2014:977-987.

  • S. Gamper-Rabindran and C. Timmins. Does cleanup of hazardous waste sites raise housing values? Evidence of spatially localized benefits. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 65 (3) 2013: 345-360.

  • S. Finger and S. Gamper-Rabindran. Testing the effects of self-regulation on industrial accidents. Journal of Regulatory Economics, 43(2) 2013:115-146

  • S. Gamper-Rabindran and S. Finger. Does self-regulation reduce pollution? Responsible Care program in the chemical industry. Journal of Regulatory Economics, 43(1) 2013: 1-30.

  • S. Finger and S. Gamper-Rabindran. Mandatory disclosure of plant emissions into the environment and worker chemical exposure inside plants. Ecological Economics, 87, 2013: 124-136.

  • S. Gamper-Rabindran and C. Timmins. “Hazardous Waste Cleanup, Neighborhood Gentrification, and Environmental Justice: Evidence from Restricted Access Census Block Data,” American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 101(3), May 2011:  620-624

  • S. Gamper-Rabindran, S. Khan and C. Timmins.  "The Impact of Piped Water Provision on Infant Mortality in Brazil: A Quantile Panel Data Approach," Journal of Development Economics, 92(2) 2010: 188-200.

  • S. Gamper-Rabindran, "Did the EPA's Voluntary Industrial Toxics Program Reduce Plants' Emissions? A GIS Analysis of Distributional Impacts and a By-media Analysis of Substitution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 52(1), July 2006: 391-410.

  • S. Gamper-Rabindran,"NAFTA and the Environment: What Can the Data Tell Us," Economic Development and Cultural Change 54(3) 2006: 605-633.

  • R. Godoy, D. Karlan, S. Rabindran, T. Huanca,  "Do modern forms of human capital matter in primitive economies? Comparative evidence from Bolivia," Economics of Education Review, 24(2005): 45-53.

Op ed. columns

  • Gamper-Rabindran, S. Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court Rightly Rules for Transparency, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 4, 2016

Peer-reviewed research report:

  • S. Gamper-Rabindran, C. Timmins Valuing the Benefits of Superfund Site Remediation: Three Approaches to Measuring Localized Externalities, Peer-Reviewed Research Report to the Environmental Protection Agency, Jan 2011.

Working Papers:

  • S. Finger and S Gamper-Rabindran. Voluntary versus mandatory standards: Protecting workers from adverse chemical exposure. Center for Industry Studies WP # 36, 2012.

Funded Research

  • National Science Foundation. PIs:  S. Gamper-Rabindran and S. Finger Industry self-regulation in the chemical sector $228,000, August 2011-2014, SES 1127223
  • Environmental Protection Agency. PI: S. Gamper-Rabindran and C. Timmins
    New methods to assess benefits from Superfund remediation
    RFQ-DC-09-00265, 2009-10
  • National Science Foundation.  sole PI:  S. Gamper-Rabindran
    Program evaluation of voluntary emissions reduction programs 
    BCS 0351058 $100,000, January 2004-07
  • National Institutes of Health. sole PI: S. Gamper-Rabindran
    Medicaid restrictions and immigrant health: geographical analysis 
    HD48791-01 $140,000, November 2004-09
  • Central Research Development Fund, $32,000, 2008-10, 2011-13
  • Center for Social and Urban Research, $20,000, 2006-7, 2010-11
  • Central Research Development Fund, $10,000, 2008-10
  • Center for Race and Social Problems, $10,000, 2009-10
  • Center for Latin American Studies, $4,000, 2009-10
  • University Center for International Studies, Global Studies, and Center for European Studies travel funds Marie-Curie Fellowship, Corporate Social Research Responsibility

Awards and Recognition 

  • Faculty Fellow in Sustainability, Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, University of Pittsburgh

  • Faculty Research Semester Fellowship, University Center for International Studies, University of Pittsburgh

  • Bley Stein Visiting Professor, Arava Institute of Environmental Studies

  • Rhodes Scholar

  • Plenary Speaker, Italian Association of Resource and Environmental Economists

  • Co-winner, Best Thesis, American Association of Geographers

  • Runner-up, Dissertation Award, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

  • Martin Sustainability Fellow, MIT

  • Nominated for the Carnegie Science Center Educator Award

Policy/Public Outreach and Conference Organization

  • Benefits from Hazardous Waste Remediation
    Research results were presented in a Congressional testimony by the Assistant Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency to the Committee for Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. House of Representatives, March 28, 2012.

  • Managing Environmental Risks in the Shale Industry: Comparison of Policies Worldwide, 2015 (Conference Organizer and presenter) Presentations by country-experts on shale gas development in the US, China, South Africa, Argentina, Poland, UK, Germany and France. 

  • Energy and Environment: Comparative Policies in the US and the EU, 2014 (Conference Organizer and presenter) Presentations by analysts from the European Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency and academics from the UK, Germany and the US.

  • Society for Environmental Journalists, Beyond the Bubble: How to Communicate Environmental Issues Outside of the Echo Chamber, 2017 (Panelist)

  • Energy Policy and Markets in a Shifting Federal-State Landscape, Florida State Law School, 2017

  • National Science Foundation – Natural Environment Research Council US-UK workshop on Unconventional Hydrocarbons, 2015 

  • Chinese Economics Society, Shenzhen, 2016 

  • Shale Workshop, Sichuan University – Natural Resource Defense Council, 2015, 

  • Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development, Univ. Pittsburgh, 2016

  • Climate Change Conference, Duquesne University, 2015

  • Unconventional Hydrocarbons, Carnegie Mellon University, 2015

  • Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability Conference, UC Berkeley Haas 
    Business School, April 2013

  • Voluntary Pollution Control Programs, Environmental Protection Agency and Ohio State University, 2012.

  • Social, Economic and Psychological Costs of Contamination, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Brown University Superfund Research, 2012 

  • Inside Energy documentary on coal; prepared fact sheets responding to questions posed by documentary producer. 2016

  • Salon.com article on renewable energy in Pennsylvania; prepared fact sheets responding to questions posed by journalist. 2017

Consultancies and Other Work

  • Environmental Protection Agency, consultant

  • Carnegie Mellon University, Engineering and Public Policy, Visiting Associate and Assistant Professor F2014, 2011-12

  • Environmental Protection Agency, consultant

  • World Bank, project assistant

  • Human Rights Watch, summer intern


  • ENGR 1905/2905 Current Issues in Sustainability 

  • PIA 2522 Global Energy: Economics and Politics 

  • PIA 2502 Global Environment: Economics and Politics

  • PIA 2553/HPM 2065 Global Health: Economics and Politics

  • PIA 2510 Development Economics and Politics

  • PIA 2005  Macroeconomics and the Global Economy

Faculty and Academic Administration Positions

  • Secondary appointment, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh

  • Affiliated Faculty, Center for Industry Studies, University of Pittsburgh

  • Affiliated Faculty, Global Studies, European Union Center for Excellence, Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Asian Studies

Ph.D. Student Advising

Ph.D. students (Thesis committee member)
Sunita Mondal, Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg
Wei Wang, Post-doctoral Fellow, Stanford University East Asian Studies

Research assistants supported with research grants 
Nabanita Nandi, Assistant Professor, SUNY Plattsburgh
Shikha Basnet, Assistant Professor, Washington and Lee University
Monica Jacobo, Faculty, Centro de Investigación y Docienas Económicas, Mexico

Masters Student Advising

Christina Plerhoples, Ph.D. Michigan State University and Urban Institute; Katelin Hudak, Ph.D.candidate, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Paul Shetler, Presidential Management Fellow, Veterans Affairs, Mennonite Central Committee Haiti; Jesse Wilheim, State Department, China; Lauren Borsa, Senior Program Coordinator, Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics; Daniel Dalton, Grow Pittsburgh; Daniel Shetler, Data Analysis for Nonprofits; Marina Duane, Urban Institute; Katie Sarro, Council on Competitiveness; Alison Watterson, Quota International; Tara Devezin, Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics; Divya Nawale, City of Pittsburgh Sustainability Fellow


  • World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists, 2010, 2014
    Association for Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE)   meetings/workshops, 2002-5, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012 

  • European Association for Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE)  meetings, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 

  • American Economic Association (AEA), Denver, 2011

  • Association of Public Policy and Management, 2005, 2008-11, 2012

  • Environmental Economics workshop, UC Santa Barbara, 2007, 2009, 2010

  • European Union Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility, Berlin, 2009

  • 2017: Technical University of Munich 

  • 2016: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Imperial College London, University of Munich-CES-Ifo, Univ Rome III, 

  • 2015:University of Munich-CES-Ifo

  • 2014: University of Munich-CES-Ifo, Porter School of Environmental Studies Tel Aviv University, Jerusalem Business School, American University

  • 2013: ParisTech Institute of Innovation, Kelley School of Business Indiana University, University of Michigan Erb Institute – Ross School of Business

  • 2012: RAND, Carnegie Mellon University, Boston University School of Management 

  • 2011: Resources for the Future, Georgetown, ETH Zurich, University of Venice, University of Milan-Bocconi (via webinar), Scottish Institute for Research in Economics – University of Edinburgh/Stirling, Cornell Dyson School of Management 

  • 2010: Harvard Kennedy School of Government, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Free University Amsterdam, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Carnegie Mellon University-University of Pittsburgh-RAND

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260