Logo for Climate Social Science Network (CSSN)


Shanti Gamper-Rabindran

University of Pittsburgh

Based in

United States
North America

Shanti Gamper-Rabindran is a Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) and Department of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh. Her book America’s Energy Gamble (Cambridge University Press 2022) details how political, financial, and legal institutions entrench fossil fuel dependency and hinder the adoption of renewable energy, but how the average American can support the energy transition. Her edited book The Shale Dilemma: A Global Perspective on Fracking and Shale Development (University of Pittsburgh Press 2018) details how countries without strategies in place for securing affordable non-fossil energy and with less protections for local communities pursued shale development. Shale development took place largely without the extent of financial prudence and health and environmental protections needed to ensure equitable benefits. By contrast, countries with strategies in place to transition away from fossil fuels, strong climate commitments, and protections for local communities, given opposition from their citizens, did not pursue shale development. Her current work examines the renewable energy transition in Appalachia, including communities’ preferences and reskilling of the labor force; the role of the public utility commissions in decarbonizing the grid; and the renewable energy transition in the Carribeean.
She served on the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study panel on Enhancing the U.S. Chemical Economy through Investments in Fundamental Research in the Chemical Sciences in 2021-2022 and on the Policy Council of the Association of Public Policy and Management in 2018-2021. In 2020, she received the University of Pittsburgh’s Faculty Award on Sustainability for her contributions to research, teaching and service on sustainability. She served as the August-Wilhelm Scheer Visiting Professor at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, at the Chair of Environment and Climate Policy and a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. She serves on the advisory board of the Ohio River Valley Institute, which works on the Just Transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.Sc. in Environmental Management and B.A. in Jurisprudence from Oxford University where she was a Rhodes scholar, and an AB in Economic and Environmental Science & Public Policy from Harvard College.

Country(ies) of Specialty

United States

Focus areas of expertise

Climate policy and politics Climate Justice Fossil fuels Renewable energy

How to Connect



S. Gamper-Rabindran. Shifting Away From Coal Power: Prioritizing Ratepayers and Communities vs. Shareholders? Pace Environmental Law Review. 40(1) 2022. 1-40 [gamper_pace.pdf]

Shanti Gamper-Rabindran. (2022). “America’s Energy Gamble: People, Economy and Planet.” (Cambridge University Press).

Shanti Gamper-Rabindran (ed.).(2018). “The Shale Dilemma: A Global Perspective on Fracking and Shale Development.” (University of Pittsburgh Press).

Selected publications

S. Gamper-Rabindran. Shifting Away From Coal Power: Prioritizing Ratepayers and Communities vs. Shareholders?Pace Environmental Law Review. 40(1) 2022. 1-40.

Shanti Gamper-Rabindran. (2021). “Fracked Communities and Taxpayers: Shale Economics in US and Argentina,” in Sowers, Vanderveer and Weinthal (eds). Oxford Handbook on Comparative Environmental Politics 2021,  Section on Energy, Food and Climate Change.

Shanti Gamper-Rabindran. (2018). “Markets, states and the federal government in the transition to wind energy.” Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law, 33(2), 355–378.

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

Shanti Gamper-Rabindran. (2014). “Information collection, access and dissemination to support evidence based shale gas policies,” Energy Technology, 2(12).

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

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

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

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

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

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

S. Gamper-Rabindran, July 2006. “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): 391-410.

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