David Lagakos

Welcome to my webpage. I'm an associate professor of economics at Boston University. I am also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, lead academic for the International Growth Centre's Ghana program, an editor of the Review of Economic Dynamics and a co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics. My main research fields are macroeconomics and economic development.

l a g a k o s @ b u . e d u

@ L a g a k o s D a v i d

Click here for my latest CV.

Last update: July 2021

Working Papers

"Structural Change in Labor Supply and Cross-Country Differences in Hours Worked"

with Alex Bick, Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln and Hitoshi Tsujiyama


"Labor Market Conflict and the Decline of the Rust Belt"

with Simeon Alder and Lee Ohanian

Revised and resubmitted to the Journal of Political Economy


"Electricity and Firm Productivity: A General-Equilibrium Approach"

with Stephie Fried

[paper] [voxdev]

"The Aggregate Effects of "Free" Secondary Schooling in the Developing World"

with Junichi Fujimoto and Mitch VanVuren


"Unemployment and Development"

with Ying Feng and Jim Rauch

[paper] [voxdev]

"How Should Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic Differ in the Developing World?"

with Titan Alon, Minki Kim and Mitch VanVuren

[paper] [slides] [voxeu] [promarket][world economic forum]

"The Welfare Effects of Encouraging Rural-Urban Migration"

with Mushfiq Mobarak and Michael Waugh

2nd revision requested by Econometrica


Academic Publications

"Do Urban Wage Premia Reflect Lower Amenities? Evidence from Africa"

with Martina Kirchberger and Doug Gollin

Journal of Urban Economics, 2021

[paper] [voxdev]

"Rural Electrification, Migration and Structural Transformation: Evidence from Ethiopia"

with Stephie Fried

Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2021, special issue honoring John Harris and Michael Todaro


"Migration Costs and Observational Returns to Migration in the Developing World"

with Sam Marshall, Mushfiq Mobarak, Michael Waugh and Corey Vernot

Journal of Monetary Economics, 2020


"Urban-Rural Gaps in the Developing World: Does Internal Migration Offer Opportunities?"

Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2020

[paper] [voxdev podcast]

"Life-Cycle Wage Growth Across Countries"

with Benjamin Moll, Tommaso Porzio, Nancy Qian and Todd Schoellman,

Journal of Political Economy, 2018

[paper] [slides]

"Life-Cycle Human Capital Accumulation Across Countries: Lessons from U.S. Immigrants"

with Benjamin Moll, Tommaso Porzio, Nancy Qian and Todd Schoellman

Journal of Human Capital, 2018, special issue honoring Gary Becker

[paper] [slides]

"How do Hours Worked Vary With Income? Cross-Country Evidence and Implications"

with Alexander Bick and Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln

American Economic Review, 2018

[paper] [slides] [appendix] [data] [voxeu]

"Explaining Cross-Country Productivity Differences in Retail Trade"

Journal of Political Economy, 2016

[paper] [slides] [working paper]

"Agricultural Productivity Differences Across Countries"

with Doug Gollin and Michael Waugh

American Economic Review P&P, 2014

[paper] [slides]

"The Agricultural Productivity Gap"

with Doug Gollin and Michael Waugh

Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2014

[paper] [slides] [appendix] [data]

"Selection, Agriculture and Cross-Country Productivity Differences"

with Michael Waugh

American Economic Review, 2013

[paper] [slides]

"Which Workers Get Insurance Within the Firm?"

with Guillermo Ordoñez

Journal of Monetary Economics, 2011

[paper] [appendix]

"Inflation Inequality in the United States"

with Bart Hobijn

Review of Income and Wealth, 2005

[paper] [The Economist]

"Social Security and the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly"

with Bart Hobijn

Current Issues in Economics and Finance, 2003


Other Publications

Comment on "Welfare and Distributional Implications of Shale Gas," by Hausman and Kellogg

Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring 2015

[paper] [slides]

Selected Research in Progress

"Quantifying the Importance of Tax Collection Capacity for Development"

with Anders Jensen and Radhika Goyal

"Improving Tax Collection Capacity in the Developing World: Evidence from Local Government in Ghana"

with James Dzansi, Anders Jensen and Henry Telli

"Accounting for Africa's Growth Miracle"

with Stephie Fried and Alejandro Nakab

"The Persistence of Agricultural Productivity Gaps"

with Doug Gollin and Shraddha Mandi