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About the Author(s)


Francesco Trebbi's academic research focuses on political economy and applied economics more generally. He has worked on political institutions and their design. He also has worked on the political economy of development, conflict, corruption, political behavior, electoral campaigns and campaign finance, lobbying, and financial regulation. His primary teaching interests are in applied and political economics.

Trebbi is Canada Research Chair in Economics and professor of economics at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia. Before joining UBC, he was an assistant professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 2006.

Trebbi is a research associate affiliated with the NBER's Political Economy Program and a Fellow of the Bank of Canada. He describes himself as a direct beneficiary of the late NBER President Martin Feldstein's support for the quantitative and data-driven study of violence and insurgency, as reflected in his creation of the NBER's Economics of National Security Working Group. These issues were actively discussed at the meetings of that group, and continue to attract interest in the NBER's Political Economy Program.


1. "Insurgent Learning," Trebbi F, Weese E, Wright A, Shaver A. NBER Working Paper 23475, June 2017. Go to ⤴︎
2. Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), 2010 Annual Report. Go to ⤴︎
3. "Introducing the Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (WITS)," Wigle J. Perspectives on Terrorism 4(1), 2010, pp. 3–23. Go to ⤴︎
4. Many of the datasets described in this article can be downloaded at under the Empirical Studies of Conflict initiative. "Measuring Political Violence in Pakistan: Insights from the BFRS Dataset," Bueno de Mesquita E, Fair C, Jordan J, Rais R, Shapiro J. Conflict Management and Peace Science 32(5), November 2015, pp. 536–558. Go to ⤴︎
5. Other examples of similarly designed databases of geocoded and time-stamped violent incidents include the Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland. Go to ⤴︎
6. "Insurgency and Small Wars: Estimation of Unobserved Coalition Structures," Trebbi F, Weese E. NBER Working Paper 21202, May 2015, and Econometrica 87(2), March 2019, pp. 463–496. Go to ⤴︎
7. "Eigenvalue Ratio Test for the Number of Factors," Ahn S, Horenstein A. Econometrica 81(3), May 2013, pp. 1203–1227. Go to ⤴︎
8. Ibid, NBER Working Paper 21202. Go to ⤴︎
9. Identifying Ideology: Experimental Evidence on Anti-Americanism in Pakistan," Bursztyn L, Callen M, Ferman B, Gulzar S, Hasanain A, Yuchtman N. NBER Working Paper 20153, May 2014. About 25 percent of the men surveyed were willing to forgo up to 20 percent of their average daily wage rather than express gratitude to the US government by checking a box in a questionnaire. Go to ⤴︎
10. "Networks in Conflict: Theory and Evidence from the Great War of Africa," König M, Rohner D, Thoenig M, Zilibotti F. Econometrica 85(4), July 2017, pp. 1093–1132. Go to ⤴︎
11. For instance, ACLED covers violent episodes in Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. Go to ⤴︎

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