Dr Saleh is an Associate Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is also a Research Affiliate in Economic History at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). Prior to joining the LSE in September 2022, Dr Saleh was at the Toulouse School of Economics and the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, France, first as a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Economics from September 2012 to December 2018, and then as a Professor of Economics from January 2019 to August 2022 (currently, on leave). Dr Saleh obtained his PhD in Economics in May 2012, and MA in Economics in 2006, both from the University of Southern California (USC), and his BSc in Economics from Cairo University, Egypt, in June 2003.
Dr Saleh's primary fields of interest lie at the intersection of Economic History, Political Economy, and Development Economics. His research is focused on the Economic History of the Middle East and North Africa, where he employs modern microeconometric methods, historical evidence, and novel primary (archival) and secondary (published) microdata sources to address long-standing questions in the field. He has been interested in two main themes of research. The first theme is the Economic History of Religion, and in particular how fiscal policy impacted the formation of religious groups, their socioeconomic outcomes, and their narratives in the Middle East and North Africa, via tax-induced conversions. The second theme is the Historical Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa, and in particular, the coercion of labor, land inequality, and the historical roots of political authoritarianism in the region.
Dr Saleh's research has been published in leading Economics and Economic History journals, such as Econometrica, Journal of Economic History, and Explorations in Economic History. He was awarded the Economic History Association’s Arthur H. Cole Prize for the best Journal of Economic History article of the year in 2017–2018.
Dr Saleh's research involves digitizing and analyzing large-scale microdata sources. For example, he digitized two nationally representative individual-level samples from Egypt's population censuses in 1848 and 1868, from the original Arabic census manuscripts at the National Archives of Egypt. These censuses are the earliest censuses in the Middle East and North Africa to enumerate every individual, including females, children, and slaves. They are also among the earliest individual-level precolonial censuses from any non-Western country. Dr Saleh published these two census samples on IPUMS International in 2022.
Recent or select publications
Saleh, M. and J. Tirole (2021). “Taxing Identity: Theory and Evidence from Early Islam.”Econometrica89 (4):1881–1919
Saleh, M. (2018). “On the Road to Heaven: Taxation, Conversions, and the Coptic-Muslim Socioeconomic Gap in Medieval Egypt.” Journal of Economic History78 (2): 394–434.
Lévêque, C. and M. Saleh (2018). “Does Industrialization Affect Segregation? Evidence from Nineteenth Century Cairo.” Explorations in Economic History67: 40–61.
Saleh, M. (2016). “Public Mass Modern Education, Religion, and Human Capital in Twentieth-Century Egypt.” Journal of Economic History76 (3): 697–735.
Saleh, M. (2015). “The Reluctant Transformation: State Industrialization, Religion, and Human Capital in Nineteenth-Century Egypt.” Journal of Economic History75 (1): 65–94.
Saleh, M. (2013). “A Pre-Colonial Population Brought to Light: Digitization of the Nineteenth-Century Egyptian Censuses.” Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History46(1): 5–18.
You can read Dr Saleh's CV here: Mohamed Saleh CV