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, and an editor of the Review of Economic Dynamics. 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: Sep 2022

Working Papers

"Technology and Tax Capacity: Evidence from Local Governments in Ghana" with James Dzansi, Anders Jensen and Henry Telli [paper]

"Aggregate and Distributional Effects of "Free" Secondary Schooling in the Developing World" with Junichi Fujimoto and Mitch VanVuren [paper]

"The Welfare Effects of Encouraging Rural-Urban Migration" with Mushfiq Mobarak and Michael Waugh, Conditionally accepted at Econometrica [paper]

"Labor Market Conflict and the Decline of the Rust Belt" with Simeon Alder and Lee Ohanian, Revised and resubmitted (2nd round) to the Journal of Political Economy [paper]

"Unemployment and Development" with Ying Feng and Jim Rauch [paper] [voxdev]


Academic Publications

"Macroeconomic Effects of COVID-19 Across the World Income Distribution" with Titan Alon, Minki Kim and Mitch VanVuren, Forthcoming in the IMF Economic Review special issue on COVID-19 [paper]

"Electricity and Firm Productivity: A General-Equilibrium Approach" with Stephie Fried, Forthcoming in the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics [paper] [voxdev]

"Structural Change in Labor Supply and Cross-Country Differences in Hours Worked", with Alex Bick, Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln and Hitoshi Tsujiyama, Journal of Monetary Economics, 2022 [paper]

"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 [paper]

"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 [paper] [erratum] [github]

"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 [paper]


Other Papers and Publications

"How Should Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic Differ in the Developing World?" NBER Working Paper 27273, August 2020, with Titan Alon, Minki Kim and Mitch VanVuren [paper] [slides] [voxeu] [promarket][world economic forum]

Comment on "Welfare and Distributional Implications of Shale Gas," by Hausman and Kellogg, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring 2015 [paper] [slides]