Department of Economics
University of Colorado
Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2017||Winter is Coming: The Long-Run Effects of Climate Change on Conflict, 1400-1900|
with Nathan Nunn, Nancy Qian: w23033
We investigate the long-run effects of cooling on conflict. We construct a geo-referenced and digitized database of conflicts in Europe, North Africa, and the Near East from 1400-1900, which we merge with historical temperature data. We show that cooling is associated with increased conflict. When we allow the effects of cooling over a fifty-year period to depend on the extent of cooling during the preceding period, the effect of cooling on conflict is larger in locations that experienced earlier cooling. We interpret this as evidence that the adverse effects of climate change intensify with its duration.
|April 2004||On the Efficacy of Reforms: Policy Tinkering, Institutional Change, and Entrepreneurship|
with Dani Rodrik: w10455
We analyze the interplay of policy reform and entrepreneurship in a model where investment decisions and policy outcomes are both subject to uncertainty. The production costs of non-traditional activities are unknown and can only be discovered by entrepreneurs who make sunk investments. The policy maker has access to two strategies: policy tinkering,' which corresponds to a new draw from a pre-existing policy regime, and institutional reform,' which corresponds to a draw from a different regime and imposes an adjustment cost on incumbent firms. Tinkering and institutional reform both have their respective advantages. Institutional reforms work best in settings where entrepreneurial activity is weak, while it is likely to produce disappointing outcomes where the cost discovery process is v...
Published: Eicher, Theo S. and Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa (eds.) Institutions, Development, and Economic Growth CESifo Seminar Series. Cambridge and London: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
|October 1993||Population Increase, Extralegal Appropriation, and the End of Colonialism|
with Herschel I. Grossman: w4488
Between 1946 and 1976, the European powers granted independence to all of their large colonies in Africa and Southeast Asia. This paper attempts to provide an economic explanation for this remarkable ending to the era of colonialism. The main theoretical innovation is to consider the effect of population increase on the allocation of time by the indigenous population between productive and subversive activities. The analysis suggests that the increase in population during the colonial period increased the potential return to extralegal appropriation of the profits of colonial companies until the colonies became a net burden on the metropolitan governments. The analysis also suggests that there was less subversive activity in colonies in which the market for indigenous labor was monopso...
Published: Economica, Vol. 64 (August 1997): 483-493.
|August 1993||The Profitabality of Colonialism|
with Herschel I. Grossman: w4420
This paper develops an analytical framework for studying colonial investment from the perspective of neoclassical political economy. The distinguishing feature of colonial investment in this model is that the metropolitan government restricts the amount of investment in the colony in order to maximize the net profits earned in the colony. The model explicitly includes the threat of extralegal appropriative activities by the indigenous population in the colony. The analysis of this model identifies the conditions, where these conditions include both the technology of production and the technology of extralegal appropriation, that determine the profitability of colonialism. The analysis suggests why historically some countries but not others became colonies and why many colonies that were in...
Published: "The Profitability of Colonial Investment" Economics & Politics, vol. 7, November 1995, pp. 229-241.