Manoj Mohanan is the Creed C. Black Professor of Public Policy and Interim Dean at the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy.

He is an applied economist, focusing on health and development economics, and health policy.

His research focuses on topics broadly related to health and health care in developing countries including performance-based contracts, measurement of provider quality and performance, social franchising, health insurance, and social accountability / monitoring for delivery of public services.  He also studies the role of subjective expectations and beliefs in health care behavior.

Mohanan’s research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank.

Several of his projects feature field experiments, policy interventions and large-scale policy evaluations.

During the pandemic, Mohanan led and co-led two of the first seroprevalence studies that provided critical early evidence on the spread of the pandemic in India.

In 2022, he was recognized as one of Apolitical’s Top 100 most influential academics in government.

His research has been published in leading interdisciplinary and disciplinary journals including Science, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, JAMA, Lancet, Lancet – Global Health and Health Affairs. He serves on the editorial board of Health Economics and is a standing member of NIH’s Study Section on Social Science and Population.


Quick Facts

Education: Ph.D. in Health Policy (Economics), MS and MPH, Harvard University

Family: Married, one child

Childhood: Grew up in India.

Before Public Policy: Trained as a medical doctor. 

Before Medical School: He was selected to become an air force pilot in India before he went to medical school.

Fun Fact: Has traveled the world to hear Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) in concert. A memorable performance was in Rome, in the evening at the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla.

personal website

Host, Policy 360 podcast

Beginning in August 2024, Manoj Mohanan will host Sanford's popular Policy 360 podcast. New episodes premiere September-May during the academic year. Guests have included luminaries like Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, renowned writer Isabel Wilkerson and former director of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim, as well as researchers from Duke University and other institutions.

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