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About the Author(s)

180x250 Nathan Nunn

    Nathan Nunn is Frederic E. Abbe Professor of Economics at Harvard University. His primary research interests are in political economy, economic history, economic development, cultural economics, and international trade. He is a research associate in the programs on Development of the American Economy, International Trade and Investment, Political Economy, and Development Economics. He also is a research fellow at BREAD, and a faculty associate at Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He is currently a co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics.

    One stream of Nunn's research focuses on the historical and dynamic process of economic development. In particular, he has studied the factors that shape differences in the evolution of institutions and cultures across societies. He has published research that studies the historical process of a wide range of factors that are crucial for economic development, including distrust, gender norms, religiosity, norms of rule following, conflict, immigration, state formation, and support for democracy.

    Another stream of Nunn's research examines economic development in a contemporary context. He has published research examining the effects of Fair Trade certification, CIA interventions during the Cold War, foreign aid, school construction, and trade policy. He is particularly interested in the importance of the local context (e.g., social structures, traditions, and cultures) for the effectiveness of development policy and in understanding how policy can be optimally designed given the local environment.

    Nunn lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and enjoys playing basketball and surfing.



1. R. Dragusanu, D. Giovannucci, and N. Nunn, "The Economics of Fair Trade," NBER Working Paper No. 20357, July 2014, and Journal of Economic Perspectives, 28(3), 2014, pp. 217–36. Go to ⤴︎
2. C. Arnot, P. Boxall, and S. Cash, "Do Ethical Consumers Care About Price? A Revealed Preference Analysis of Fair Trade Coffee Purchases," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 54(4), 2006, pp. 555–65; M. Hiscox, M. Broukhim, and C. Litwin, "Consumer Demand for Fair Trade: New Evidence from a Field Experiment using eBay Auctions of Fresh- Roasted Coffee," 2011. Mimeo, Harvard University; and J. Hainmueller, M. Hiscox, and S. Sequeira, "Consumer Demand for Fair Trade: Evidence from a Multistore Field Experiment," Review of Economics and Statistics, 97(2), 2015, pp. 242–56. Go to ⤴︎
3. Fairtrade International, "Monitoring the Scope and Benefits of Fairtrade. Monitoring Report, 9th Edition," 2018. Go to ⤴︎
4. R. Dragusanu and N. Nunn,"The Effects of Fair Trade Certification: Evidence from Coffee Producers in Costa Rica," NBER Working Paper No. 24260, January 2018. Go to ⤴︎
5. A. de Janvry, C. McIntosh, and E. Sadoulet, "Fair Trade and Free Entry: Can a Disequilibrium Market Serve as a Development Tool?” Review of Economics and Statistics, 97(3), 2015, pp. 567–73. Go to ⤴︎

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