Research: Papers

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.

Barriers to Global Capital Allocation with Bruno Pellegrino and Romain Wacziarg

Fertility and Modernity with Romain Wacziarg. Appendix

Commanding Nature by Obeying Her. A Review Essay on Joel Mokyr’s A Culture of Growth, Journal of Economic Literature. Media coverage: A Society’s Values and Beliefs Matter for the Economy, The Economist

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

The Political Economy of Heterogeneity and Conflict with Romain Wacziarg

War and Relatedness with Romain Wacziarg, Review of Economics and Statistics – (for a short summary of a previous version, see Vox)

Ancestry, Language and Culture with Romain Wacziarg – in Victor Ginsburgh and Shlomo Weber (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Economics and Language, Chapter 7, London: Palgrave Macmillan. View the shorter version Ancestry and Culture in Vox, June 27, 2015. Cultural Distance Data.

The Economics of Political Borders in Economic Analysis of International Law, edited by Eugene Kontorovich and Francesco Parisi, Cheltenham: Edward Edgar

The Political Economy of European Integration, in Handbook of the Economics of European Integration, edited by Harald Badinger and Volker Nitsc, Routledge

What is European Integration Really About? A Political Guide for EconomistsJournal of Economic Perspectives, Summer 2013

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, in Handbook of Economic Growth, vol. 3 , edited by P. Aghion and S. Durlauf, North Holland – Elsevier (for a short summary see Vox)

National Borders, Conflict and Peace in Oxford Handbook of The Economics of Peace and Conflict, edited by Michelle Garfinkel and Stergios Skaperdas, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012

Long-Term Barriers to the International Diffusion of Innovations with Romain Wacziarg, in NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2011, edited by Jeffrey  Frankel and Christopher Pissarides, Chapter 1, pp. 11-46. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012

Federalism, Regional Redistribution, and Country Stability in The Political Economy of Inter-Regional Fiscal Flows: Measurement, Determinants and Effects on Country Stability, edited by Núria Bosch,  Marta Espasa Queralt and Albert Solé Ollé,Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2010

The Diffusion of Development with Romain Wacziarg, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 124, no. 2, pp. 469-529, May 2009. Genetic Distance Data.

Civil Conflict and Secessions, Economics of Governance, vol. 9(1), pp. 45-63, January 2008


On the Number and 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

For more working papers and articles see


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

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