Usha Nair-Reichert

Associate Professor

Member Of:
  • School of Economics
  • Technology Policy and Assessment Center
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Office Location:
Old CE Building, Room 206
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Dr. Nair-Reichert is an Associate Professor in the School of Economics. Her current research interests include (i) innovation ecosystems (ii) firm strategies related to innovation, globalization of R&D, trade, foreign direct investment, technology licensing and acquisition, and sustainability (iii) environmental regulations and their impact on firm strategy, innovation, trade and foreign direct investment (iv) partnerships, policies and collaborations for economic development, with specific focus on education, infrastructure, and health care.

Dr. Nair-Reichert worked on funded projects related to supply chains, innovation and efficiency gains in the pulp and paper industry, biotechnology, telecommunications, energy, affirmative action, and educational outcomes.  She has received funding from sources such as the Center for Paper Business and Industry Studies, Center for International Business Education and Research, and Power4Georgians. She recently received a Fulbright Specialist’s award for a project in Poland.

Dr. Nair-Reichert has published in peer reviewed journals including the Journal of International Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Research Policy, International Organization, World Development and Review of International Economics. She is a member of the American Economic Association, International Economics and Finance Society, the European Economics and Finance Society, and the Association of Indian Economic and Financial Studies. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the European Economics and Finance Society. 

Dr. Nair-Reichert obtained her Ph.D. in Economics from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University specializing in international trade, international business, econometrics and economic development. She joined the faculty at the School of Economics at Georgia Institute of Technology in 1995.  She served as interim School Chair during the academic year 2011-12.  As part of a select leadership program of the University System of Georgia, she was also an Executive Leadership Institute Scholar from Georgia Tech during 2011-2012.  She is a faculty associate with the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Program at Georgia Tech and a core faculty member at the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at Georgia Tech. 

Prior to her graduate work at Purdue, she was employed in the banking sector in India where she has worked in areas related to trade and foreign exchange regulations, imports and exports, multinational investment, technology transfer, and introduction and integration of computerized check processing technologies.

Dr. Nair-Reichert has served as a trustee at The Westminster Schools,  the Trinity School  and the Georgia Tech Athletics Association Board. She is also a member of SHECON, a nonprofit group working with micro finance lending and economic development projects in Haiti. She enjoys reading, traveling, and experiencing new cultures. She is an ardent believer in the power of education to inspire people, change lives, and transform society.

  • Ph.D., Purdue University
  • M.A., Pachaiyappas College
  • B.A., Ethiraj College
Awards and
  • 2015: Fulbright Specialist Award
  • 2011-2012: Executive Leadership Institute Scholar, USG
Research Fields:
  • Development Economics
  • Energy Economics
  • Environmental Economics
  • Firm Strategy
  • International Economics
  • Policy Analysis
  • Technology and Innovation
  • Asia (East)
  • Asia (South)
  • Europe
  • Latin America and Caribbean
  • United States
  • United States - Georgia
  • United States - Southeast
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Gender
  • Inequality and Social Justice
  • International Development
  • Regional Development
  • Business Strategy
  • Education
  • Education Policy
  • Globalization and Localization
  • Innovation
  • Institution-Building
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • International Collaboration and Partnership Development
  • International Trade and Investment
  • Regulation
  • Science and Technology
  • Sustainability
  • Technology
Courses Taught:
  • ECON-2101: The Global Economy
  • ECON-4311: Global Enterprise
  • ECON-4350: International Economics
  • ECON-6431: Global Enterprise
  • ECON-6650: International Economics
  • ECON-7121: International Econ I
  • ECON-7130: Res Dev & Pres Workshop
Selected Publications

Journal Articles

  • Agglomeration effects and spatial spillovers in efficiency analysis: a distribution-free methodology
       In: Regional Studies


    Technical efficiency estimates using standard stochastic frontier models do not include spillover effects, although the existence of such spillovers is well documented in the productivity literature. This paper proposes a regression-based, distribution-free estimation method applicable to both time-varying efficiency spatial stochastic frontier and fixed effects spatial autoregressive models, which is relatively easy to estimate. The empirical results from the Indian chemical industry illustrate that ignoring spatial dependence may seriously distort estimates for efficiency rankings. The average overall spillover effect on a firm’s efficiency is 7.20 percentage points, or an average positive spillover effect of US$4.9 million in sales revenue.

  • Access to Higher Public Education and Location Choices of Undocumented Migrants: An Exploratory Analysis

    May 2015

    Many states have experienced a large influx of undocumented migrants in recent years. This phenomenon has created new demands on higher educational systems at the state level. Some states have passed legislation to restrict the access of undocumented migrants to higher public education whereas others provide access in various forms including in-state tuition. Our research examines a related issue that has not been researched much, namely, the impact of educational access on the location decisions of undocumented migrants in the U.S. Undocumented migrants appear to locate in states with high average median real per capita incomes. There is also evidence of clustering of undocumented migrants in states with large migrant networks. The effect of educational access on the percentage of undocumented workers in a state is mixed and small in most specifications, a finding perhaps indicative of a trade-off between competing priorities in the choice of location.

  • US Trade and Access to Trade Facilitating Services in Partner Countries: An Empirical Analysis

    September 2011

    The issue of liberalization of international trade in services has received considerable attention in recent years. One of the benefits discussed in the literature is the role of services in facilitating goods trade among countries. We test this claim by analyzing the impact of trade in services on manufactured goods exports to the U.S. using data for 30 trading partners for the period 1992-2000. We use Instrumental Variable estimation to control for potential endogeniety. Our analysis also addresses the debates regarding whether services trade and goods trade are substitutes or complements. The answer depends upon whether imported services are used more intensively in the traded goods sector or in the non-traded goods sector. The key empirical results indicate that, on average, aggregate service imports from the U.S. have a significant and positive impact on goods exports to the U.S. in the case of low income nations but not in the case of high income countries. In most cases, the impact is significant and positive for business services, while it is negative and statistically significant in the case of financial services. The latter outcome could be due to a Rybczynski type effect if financial services are used mostly in sectors that do not export to the U.S.

  • Does a Lack of Health Insurance Elicit an Increase in the Rate of Voluntary Military Enlistment in the U.S.? The "Military Health Care Magnet Hypothesis," 1974-2007

    January 2010

    This study addresses a question that has not been researched much previously, namely, does the unavailability of health insurance act as an incentive for persons to enlist in the military in the U.S.? This relationship is proffered as the “Military Health Care Magnet Hypothesis.”  The present study endeavors to provide insight into this issue within a cost-benefit framework. The empirical analysis uses annual data for the years 1974 through 2007, the only years to date for which all of the variables in the model are dependable after the end of military conscription in the U.S. in 1973. Both OLS and 2SLS results demonstrate, among other things, that the greater the percentage of the civilian population without health insurance, the greater the rate of enlistment in the U.S. Army.