I am affiliated with the Central European Labour Studies Institute in Slovakia (as a research fellow) and with the Leibniz-Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) Regensburg in Germany (as an associated researcher). I received my PhD from Princeton University in 2011. I'm interested in political economy, economic development, emerging markets, and the politics and economics of transition. I am also a visiting lecturer at EBS Business School in Germany.

None of my writings reflect the opinion of EBRD and are written in a personal capacity only. For any questions on my writings or for an updated copy of my CV, please email me at Nikolova.ele at gmail.com.


Do public fund windfalls increase corruption? Evidence from a natural disaster,” (with Nikolay Marinov), Forthcoming, Comparative Political Studies online first version hereFeatured in Financial TimesWashington Post (Monkey Cage)Standart newspaper (in Bulgarian), Bulgarian National Radio (in Bulgarian, 20.04.2015), Capital newspaper (in Bulgarian); EBRD working paper 179

“Diversity and entrepreneurship in transition economies,” Forthcoming (2016), IZA World of Labor - email me for a pre-production copy if interested

Suffrage, labour markets and coalitions in colonial Virginia,” with Milena Nikolova (2016), forthcoming, European Journal of Political Economy; online first copy here

Destined for democracy? Labour markets and political change in colonial British America (online first version)”, British Journal of Political Science, 2017, 47(1), 19-45, also EBRD working paper 134 (older version); SSRN version; Featured in: VOXPolicy Space, Washington Post (Monkey Cage)

How much should we trust life satisfaction data? Evidence from the Life in Transition Survey ,”  (with Peter Sanfey), Journal of Comparative Economics, 2016, 44(3), 720-731; EBRD working paper 174SSRN version

The happiness gap in Eastern Europe,” (with Simeon Djankov and Jan Zilinsky), Journal of Comparative Economics, 2016, 44(1), 108-124; EBRD working paper versionSSRN version; Featured in: FT.comForbes Magazine Russia (in Russian)

The Great Recession and social preferences: Evidence from Ukraine,” (with Ralph De Haas and Milena Djourelova), Journal of Comparative Economics, 2016, 44(1), 92-107; EBRD working paper versionSSRN versionPresentation at JCE conference: Ukraine: Escape from Post Soviet Legacy? (Youtube, starts at 1:28), presentation slidesFeatured in Novoe Vremya (in Russian, April 2015) and once more in Novoe Vremya (in Russian, May 2015)

Religious diversity and entrepreneurship in transition: lessons for policy makers” (with Dora Simroth), IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, 2015, 4:5

Working papers

Unexpected lessons: The political economy of the franchise in colonial Virginia ,” Revised December 2015

“Austerity and pro-sociality in Greece” (with Nicholas Sambanis) - email me if interested

War and attitudes: revisiting consensus views,” with Travers Barclay Child (2016), R&R


Policy writing

Chapter 4 of EBRD's 2011 Transition Report, Crisis in transition:the people's perspective

Chapter 3 of EBRD's 2013 Transition Report, Stuck in transition?

To contact me

Email: Nikolova.ele at gmail.com