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 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.
"The Size of Countries: Does It Matter?" Journal of the European Economic Association, Schumpeter Lecture, June 2003, 301-16.
"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.
- On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough, with Paola Giuliano and Nathan Nunn, May 2011
- On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough, web appendix
- A Test of Racial Bias in Capital Sentencing, with Eliana La Ferrara, April 2011
The Electoral Consequences of Large Fiscal Adjustments, with Dorian Carloni and
Giampaolo Lecce, October 2010.
- Gender Based Taxation and the Division of Family Chores, with Andrea Ichino and Loukas Karabarbounis, revised September 2010.
- Regulation versus Taxation, with Francesco Passarelli, revised September 2010.
- Fiscal adjustments: lessons from recent history, April 2010
- Family Values and the Regulation of Labor, with Yann Algan, Pierre Cahuc, and Paola Giuliano, Revised February 2010
- The Evolution of Ideology, Fairness and Redistribution, with Guido Cozzi and Noemi Mantovan, Revised December 2009
- Technology and Labor Regulations, with Joseph Zeira, Revised February 2009.
- Do Women Pay More for Credit? Evidence from Italy, with Francesca Lotti and Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, January 2009
- Ambiguity and Extremism in Elections, with Richard Holden, July 2008.
- The Choice of Institutions, August 2007.
- Democracy, Technology, and Growth, with Phillipe Aghion and Francesco Trebbi, May 2007.
- Divorce, Fertility and the Value of Marriage, with Paola Giuliano, April 2007.