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Alesina, Alberto

Alberto Alesina, born in Italy in 1957, is the Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University. He served as Chairman of the Department of Economics from 2003 - 2006. He obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1986. He is also a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Center for Economic Policy Research. He is a member of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a leader in the field of Political Economics and has published extensively in all major academic journals in economics. He has published five books and edited many more. His two most recent books are The Future of Europe: Reform or Decline, published by MIT Press, and Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe: A World of Difference, published by Oxford University Press. He has been a Co-editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics for eight years and Associate Editor of many academic journals. He has published columns in many leading newspapers around the world and has visited several institutions including MIT, Tel Aviv University, University of Stockholm, The World Bank, and the IMF.
His work has covered a variety of topics: political business cycles, the political economy of fiscal policy and budget deficits, the process of European integration, stabilization policies in high inflation countries, the determination of the size of countries, currency unions, the political economic determinants of redistributive policies, differences in the welfare state in the US and Europe and, more generally, differences in the economic system in the US and Europe, the effect of alternative electoral systems on economic policies, and the determination of the choice of different electoral systems.

Recently published papers

 "Fertility and the Plough," American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, forthcoming 2011 (with Paola Giuliano and Nathan Nunn).

"Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross Section of Countries," American Economic Review, forthcoming 2011 (with Ekaterina Zhuravskaya).

"The Power of the Family," Journal of Economic Growth," May 2010 Vol 15, 93–125 (with Paola Giuliano).

"Family Ties and Political Participation,"Journal of the European Economic Association," forthcoming 2010 (with Paola Giuliano).

"Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes vs Spending," Tax Policy and the Economy, forthcoming 2010, (with Silvia Ardagna).

"Artificial States," Journal of the European Economic Association, forthcoming 2010 (with William Easterly and Janina Matuszeski).

"Why is Fiscal Policy So Often Procyclical?" Journal of the European Economic Association, September 2008,Vol. 6 No. 5, 1006-1036 (with Filipe Campante and Guido Tabellini).

"Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part II: Multiple Policy Tasks," Journal of Public Economics, April 2008, 92, 426-447 (with Guido Tabellini).

"Electoral Rules and Minority Representation in U.S. Cities," Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 2008, 128: 325-58 (with Philippe Aghion and Francesco Trebbi.

"Good Bye Lenin (or not?) - The Effect of Communism on People's Preferences," American Economic Review, September 2007, 97: 1507-1528 (with Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln).

"Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task," American Economic Review, March 2007, 97: 169-79 (with Guido Tabellini), reprinted in D. Masciandaro and M. Quintyn (2007), Designing Financial Supervision Institutions: Independence, Accountability and Governance, Edward Elgar, UK.

"Choosing (and Reneging on) Exchange Rate Regimes," Journal of the European Economic Association, June 2006, 4:770-99 (with Alexander Wagner).

"Conflict, Defense Spending and the Number of Nations," European Economic Review, January 2006, 50: 91-120 (with Enrico Spolaore).

"Who Adjusts and When? On the Political Economy of Stabilizations," IMF Staff Papers, Mundell-Fleming Lecture, 53: 1-49, 2006 (with Silvia Ardagna and Francesco Trebbi).

"Work and Leisure in the U.S. and Europe: Why So Different?" NBER Macroeconomic Annual 2005, 1-64 (with Edward Glaeser and Bruce Sacerdote).

"Corruption, Inequality and Fairness," Journal of Monetary Economics, October 2005, 52: 1227-44 (with George-Marios Angeletos).

"Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, September 2005, 43: 721-61 (with Eliana La Ferrara).

"Fairness and Redistribution: US vs. Europe," American Economic Review, September 2005, 95: 913-35 (with George-Marios Angeletos).

"War, Peace and the Size of Countries," Journal of Public Economics, July 2005, 89: 1333-54 (with Enrico Spolaore).

"What Does the European Union Do?" Public Choice, June 2005, 123: 275-319 (with Ignazio Angeloni and Ludger Shuknecht).

"International Unions," American Economic Review, June 2005, 95: 602-15 (with Ignazio Angeloni and Federico Etro).

"Regulation and Investment," Journal of the European Economic Association, June 2005, 3: 791-825 (with Silvia Ardagna, Giuseppe Nicoletti, and Fabio Schiantarelli).

"Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Journal of Public Economics, May 2005, 89: 897-931 (with Eliana La Ferrara).

"The European Union: A politically incorrect view," Journal of Economic Perspectives, Winter 2004, 26-48 (with Roberto Perotti).

"Political Jurisdictions in Heterogeneous Communities," Journal of Political Economy, April 2004, 112: 348-96 (with Reza Baqir and Caroline Hoxby).

"Endogenous Political Institutions," Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2004, 119: 565-612 (with Philippe Aghion and Francesco Trebbi).

"Inequality and Happiness: Are Americans and Europeans Different?" Journal of Public Economics, August 2004, 88: 2009-42 (with Rafael Di Tella and Robert McCulloch).

"The Size of Countries: Does It Matter?" Journal of the European Economic Association, Schumpeter Lecture, June 2003, 301-16.

"Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, June 2003, 8:155-94 (with Arnaud Devleeschauwer, William Easterly, Sergio Kurlat and Romain Wacziarg).

"Optimal Currency Areas," NBER Macroeconomic Annual, 2002, 301-55 (with Robert Barro and Silvana Tenreyro), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

"Do Corrupt Governments Receive Less Foreign Aid?" American Economic Review, September 2002, 92: 1126-37 (with Beatrice Weder).

"Who Trusts Others?" Journal of Public Economics, August 2002, 85: 207-34 (with Eliana La Ferrara).

"Fiscal Policy, Profits and Investment," American Economic Review, June 2002, 92: 571-89 (with Silvia Ardagna, Roberto Perotti and Fabio Schiantarelli).

"Currency Unions," Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2002, 117: 409-30 (with Robert Barro).

"Redistribution Through Public Employment: The Case of Italy," IMF Staff Papers, November 2001, 48: 447-73 (with Stephan Danninger and Massimo Rostagno).

"Why Doesn't the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?" Brookings Paper on Economics Activity, Fall 2001, 187-278 (with Edward Glaeser and Bruce Sacerdote).

"Dollarization," American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, May 2001, 91: 381-85 (with Robert Barro).

"Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," American Economic Review, December 2000, 90: 1276-96 (with Enrico Spolaore and Romain Wacziarg), reprinted in R. Pornfret (2004), Economic Analysis of Regional Trading Agreements, Edward Elgar, UK.

"Redistributive Public Employment," Journal of Urban Economics, September 2000, 48: 219-41 (with Reza Baqir and William Easterly).

"Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Quarterly Journal of Economics, August 2000, 115: 847-904 (with Eliana La Ferrara).

"The Political Economy of the Budget Surplus in the US," Journal of Economic Perspectives, Summer 2000, 14: 3-19.

"Who gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?" Journal of Economic Growth, March 2000, 5: 33-64 (with David Dollar).

"Polarized Platforms and Moderate Policies with Checks and Balances," Journal of Public Economics, January 2000, 75:1-20, (with Howard Rosenthal).

Unpublished papers


Harvard University, Department of Economics


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