Dr Sheba Tejani

Image of Sheba Tejani

International Development Department
Lecturer

Contact details

Address
International Development Department
School of Government
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Sheba Tejani is a feminist economist interested in power and inequalities. Her published work focuses on how trade and technological change affects workers and the future of work. She is particularly interested in the impact of automation on gender inequalities and informal workers in global value chains. She is currently working on a book on sectarian exclusions and Hindu nationalism in India, and was recently awarded a Senior Research Fellowship from the American Institute of Indian Studies and funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities (US) to support this work.

Sheba has consulted with various international organisations including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Labor Organization (ILO), UN Women and the World Bank. She has a long and ongoing association with the women's movement in India.

Qualifications

  • Phd in Economics, The New School for Social Research, NY, 2012
  • M.A. in Economics, The New School for Social Research, NY, 1998
  • B.A. in International Relations, Mount Holyoke College, MA, 1996

Biography

Sheba Tejani joined IDD as a Lecturer in autumn 2020. From 2015 onwards, she worked as Assistant Professor at the Julien J. Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School in New York. Prior to this, she worked as a Consulting Economist with the Gender, Trade and Development section of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva. She has also undertaken numerous consultancies with other international organisations such as the ILO, World Bank, UN Women and UNDESA.

Sheba completed her PhD in Economics from the New School for Social Research in 2012 specialising in the fields of international economics and development. She also received her Masters in Economics from the New School. Her undergraduate degree in International Relations was taken at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, USA.

Sheba’s work has been centred on the distributional consequences of international trade and structural transformation in developing countries. She is interested in inequalities stemming from technological change, labour productivity growth and changing employment patterns. Her doctoral dissertation was titled, “Three essays in employment and productivity growth” and focused on phenomena such as jobless growth and rising gender inequalities in the context of technological upgrading. Her research has focused mostly on middle-income developing countries in East Asia, Latin America and South Asia.

She is currently an external collaborator on a research project being conducted by the European Commission Joint Research Centre and ILO titled, “The effects of automation in the apparel and automotive sectors and their gender dimensions”. The project uses a case study and comparative approach across Indonesia, Mexico, Romania, Portugal and Germany in order to understand how automation in the apparel and automotive global value chains is affecting workers and gender inequalities. 

Since 2014 she has been studying how different discursive, legal and developmental techniques have been used to construct a Hindu nation in the state of Gujarat, India. Sheba was recently awarded a Senior Research Fellowship from the American Institute of Indian Studies funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (US) to support this work.

Teaching

International Development

Economics for Development Practitioners

Research

Research Interests

  • Trade, global value chains and inequalities
  • Gender, informality and labour markets
  • Automation, structural change and its impacts on workers
  • Sectarian inequalities, Hindu nationalism and development

Current Projects

  • Principal Investigator, Building a Hindu nation: The case of Gujarat, partly funded by the American Institute of Indian Studies
  • Collaborator, The effect of automation in the apparel and automotive sectors and their gender dimensions. Joint project between European Commission Joint Research Centre and International Labour Organization (ILO).

Publications

"Defeminization, Structural Transformation and Technological Upgrading in Manufacturing" (with D. Kucera), Development and Change, forthcoming.

What’s Feminist about Feminist Economics,” Journal of Economic Methodology, Vol. 26. No. 2, pp. 99-117, 2019.

"Global Defeminization: Industrial Upgrading and Manufacturing Employment in Developing Countries" (with W. Milberg), Feminist Economics, Vol. 22 (2), 2016.

"Jobless Growth in India: An Investigation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, May 28, 2015.

Feminization, Defeminization and Structural Transformation in Manufacturing” (with D. Kucera), World Development, Vol. 64, 2014.

“The Gender Dimension of Special Economic Zones,” in Tom Farole and Gokhan Akinci (eds.) Special Economic Zones in Africa: Comparing Performance and Learning from Global Experiences. Washington, DC: World Bank, 2011.