Mehdi Shadmehr is an Associate Professor of Public Policy. Prior to joining UNC, he was an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Calgary from 2016 to 2020, and an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Miami Business School from 2011 to 2016. Mehdi was a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy in 2018-20, a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 2017-18, and a Visiting Associate Research Scholar at Princeton University Department of Politics in 2015. Mehdi earned his PhD in economics from the University of Illinois, and he holds a BSc in physics from Sharif University in Iran.
Mehdi’s research interests are interdisciplinary, and his papers have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals, including American Economic Review: Insights, American Political Science Review, Journal of the European Economic Association, and Journal of Politics. Mehdi’s research topics include the political risk of regime change, capital control, populism, leadership (inspirational, informational, and tactical), evolution of social norms, protests and revolutions, repression and censorship, revolutionary ideologies, spread of innovation in judiciaries, decline of center city malls, and decision-making in small entrepreneurial groups. Methodologically, Mehdi typically develops new theoretical frameworks, but also has empirical and qualitative-historical projects, such as “A Quantitative Model of Freedom of Assembly,” and “Theological Origins of the Iranian Islamic Government.”