Enrico Spolaore

Seth Merrin Chair and Professor of Economics

Department of Economics

Tufts University

Medford, MA 02155, USA


Enrico Spolaore is the Seth Merrin Chair and Professor of Economics at Tufts and a Research Associate with the NBER. His research interests are in political economy, growth and development, and international economics.

Short Bio and CV

In Memory of Alberto Alesina (1953-2020)

On the Number and Size of Nations

What’s happening with the number and size of nations?

The Size of Nations

Economic Integration and Political Disintegration

Trade, Growth and the Size of Countries



Comparative Economics Webinar on “What Future for Europe”:

Fertility and Modernity with Romain Wacziarg. Appendix

Commanding Nature by Obeying Her. A Review Essay on Joel Mokyr’s A Culture of Growth, forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Literature.

781955253The Political Economy of Heterogeneity and Conflict with Romain Wacziarg, in Tibor Besedeš and Volker Nitsch (eds.), Disrupted Economic Relationships, MIT Press, 2019.

Ancestry and Development: New Evidence with Romain Wacziarg, Journal of Applied Econometrics. New Genetic Distance Data.

War and Relatedness with Romain Wacziarg, Review of Economics and Statistics.

Ancestry, Language and Culture with Romain Wacziarg – in The Palgrave Handbook of Economics and Language, Victor Ginsburgh and Shlomo Weber (eds.), Palgrave Macmillan. Cultural Distance Data.

The Political Economy of European Integration, in Handbook of the Economics of European Integration, H. Badinger and V. Nitsch (eds.), Routledge.

Culture and Economic Growth, The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics, Edward Elgar.


A Society’s Values and Beliefs Matter for the EconomyThe Economist, July 25, 2019.

Coverage of “Premio Due Torri d’Oro” (in Italian): Rovigo.italiani.it; Gazzettino1; Gazzettino2; La Voce di Rovigo, June 2019.

Catalonia and the Perils of Fiscal RedistributionThe Economist, November 2nd, 2017.

Des Catalogne comme s’il en pleuvait (in French), Les Echos. October 24, 2017.

Nelle crisi territoriali servono istituzioni flessibili (in Italian) with Alberto Alesina in Corriere della Sera, September 30, 2017.

The Consensus Crumbles. The Economists Who Foresaw the Backlash Against Globalization, The Economist, July 2nd, 2016.

What’s Happening with the Number and Size of Nations? with Alberto Alesina in E-International Relations, November 9, 2015.

Monnet’s Chain Reaction and the Future of Europe in Vox, July 25, 2015.

Ancestry and Culture with Romain Wacziarg in Vox, June 27, 2015.

Goldilocks NationalismThe Economist, September 27, 2014.


What is European Integration Really About? A Political Guide for Economists, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Summer 2013 – covered in Britain in 2014 (ESRC magazine)

How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development? with Romain Wacziarg, Journal of Economic Literature, June 2013

Long-Term Barriers to Economic Development with Romain Wacziarg, prepared for the Handbook of Economic Growth, vol. 3 (P. Aghion and S. Durlauf eds., North Holland-Elsevier), view the shorter version Long-Term Barriers to Growth, Vox, October 3, 2013 – covered in Marginal Revolution and Mother Jones


Cultural Distance Data – if you use them, please cite E. Spolaore and R. Wacziarg, Ancestry, Language and Culture, in Victor Ginsburgh and Shlomo Weber (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Economics and Language, Chapter 7, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

New Genetic Distance Data. – if you use them, please cite E. Spolaore and R. Wacziarg, Ancestry and Development: New Evidence, September 2017.

Genetic Distance Data – if you use them, please cite E. Spolaore and R. Wacziarg, “The Diffusion of Development,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124 (2), 469-592, May 2009