Professor Auerbach's research and teaching focus on local governance, urban politics, and the political economy of development, with a regional focus on South Asia and India in particular. His first book, Demanding Development: The Politics of Public Goods Provision in India's Urban Slums (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics Series), accounts for the uneven success of India's slum residents in demanding and securing essential public services from the state. The project draws on more than two years of fieldwork in the north Indian cities of Jaipur, Rajasthan and Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The doctoral dissertation on which Demanding Development is based won the Best Fieldwork Award from the Comparative Democratization Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA), the Best Dissertation Award from the Urban and Local Politics Section of APSA, and APSA's Gabriel A. Almond Award for best dissertation in comparative politics. Auerbach was named a Clarence Stone Scholar (an early career award) by the Urban and Local Politics Section of APSA. His research has been supported by the American Institute of Indian Studies, Social Science Research Council, Fulbright-Hays, and National Science Foundation.
Auerbach's research appears or is forthcoming in the American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Contemporary South Asia, Journal of Politics, Studies in Comparative International Development, World Development, and World Politics. His article with Tariq Thachil, "How Clients Select Brokers: Competition and Choice in India's Slums," won APSA's Heinz I. Eulau Award for the best article in the American Political Science Review in 2018.