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

Cultural Remittances and Modern Fertility, with Mickael Melki, Hillel Rapoport, and Romain Wacziarg

Barriers to Global Capital Allocation, with Bruno Pellegrino and Romain Wacziarg slides

The Economic Approach to Political Borders, prepared as chapter in Border Studies: A Multidisciplinary Approach, edited by Thomas M. Wilson, Edward Elgar Publishing. This paper is dedicated to the memory of Alberto Alesina. Vox EU Column: Understanding Borders and Conflict from an Economic Perspective 

Article on European Integration (in French, Italian and Spanish), Le Grand Continent (Groupe d’études géopolitiques at the École normale supérieure).

Fertility_and Modernity with Romain Wacziarg, The Economic Journal. Media coverage: The Economist (2021); The Economist (2019); Economic Principals; LiveMint 

Commanding Nature by Obeying Her, Journal of Economic Literature. Media coverage: The Economist; Economic Principals781955253

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

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

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

Catalonia and the Perils of Fiscal RedistributionThe Economist

Des Catalogne comme s’il en pleuvait (in French), Les Echos

Nelle crisi territoriali servono istituzioni flessibili (in Italian) with Alberto Alesina in Corriere della Sera

The Consensus Crumbles. The Economists Who Foresaw the Backlash Against Globalization, The Economist

What’s Happening with the Number and Size of Nations? with Alberto Alesina in E-International Relations

Monnet’s Chain Reaction and the Future of Europe in Vox

Ancestry and Culture with Romain Wacziarg in Vox

Goldilocks NationalismThe Economist


What is European Integration Really About? A Political Guide for Economists, Journal of Economic Perspectives

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

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 – covered in Marginal Revolution and Mother Jones


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

War, Peace, and the Size of Countries

Conflict, Defense Spending, and the Number of Nations


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