Mohamed Saleh


I am an Associate Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). I am also a Research Affiliate in Economic History at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), a Faculty Fellow at AALIMS, and a Research Fellow at the Economic Research Forum (ERF). Prior to joining the LSE in September 2022, I 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 (I am currently on leave). I obtained my PhD in Economics in May 2012, and MA in Economics in 2006, both from the University of Southern California (USC). I obtained my BSc in Economics from Cairo University, Egypt, in June 2003. 

My primary fields of interest lie at the intersection of Economic History, Political Economy, and Development Economics. My research is focused on the Economic History of the Middle East and North Africa, where I employ modern microeconometric methods, historical evidence, and novel primary (archival) and secondary (published) microdata sources to address long-standing questions in the field. I have been interested in two main themes of research. The first theme is the Economic History of Identity, 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. My research has been published in leading Economics and Economic History journals, such as Econometrica, Journal of Economic History, Explorations in Economic History, Economic History Review, and Journal of Development Economics. I 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.

My research involves digitizing and analyzing large-scale microdata sources. For example, I 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. I published these two census samples on IPUMS International in 2022.

Contact Information

Mailing Address: 

London School of Economics

Department of Economic History

Houghton Street



United Kingdom


ORCID: 0000-0002-2403-9300

REPEC: psa1081

Google Scholar

Twitter: @msaleh1982


Scopus: 55581438700