Samuel Bazzi

Associate Professor

University of California, San Diego

School of Global Policy and Strategy & Department of Economics


research interests: development, political economy


see my curriculum vitae and research statement

working papers

Religion, Education, and Development (with Masyhur Hilmy and Benjamin Marx)

[nber wp27073] [cepr dp14689]

Revise & Resubmit, Econometrica.

The Other Great Migration: Southern Whites and the New Right (with Andreas Ferrara, Martin Fiszbein, Thomas Pearson, and Patrick Testa)

[nber wp29056] [cepr dp16739] [VoxTalks]

Information, Intermediaries, and International Migration (with Lisa Cameron, Simone Schaner, and Firman Witoelar)

[nber wp29588] [cepr dp16811]

Frontier Gender Norms (with Abel Brodeur, Martin Fiszbein, and Joanne Haddad)

Campaign Connections (with Claudio Labanca and Marc-Andreas Muendler)

Credit Supply Shocks and Firm Dynamics: Evidence from Brazil (with Marc-Andreas Muendler, Raquel Oliveira, and James Rauch)


Nation Building, Diversity, and Conflict

Sundown Towns and Racial Exclusion: The Southern White Diaspora and the "Great Retreat" (with Andreas Ferrara, Martin Fiszbein, Thomas Pearson, and Patrick Testa)

American Economic Association: Papers & Proceedings, May 2022.

Frontier Culture: The Roots and Persistence of "Rugged Individualism" in the United States (with Martin Fiszbein and Mesay Gebresilasse)

Econometrica, December 2020.

[final draft] [nber wp23997] [cepr dp12406] [VoxEU article]

Media: WSJ, The Economist, Boston Globe, LA Review of Books, Marginal Revolution, BU Today, Weeds Podcast

Rugged Individualism and Collective (In)action During the COVID-19 Pandemic (with Martin Fiszbein and Mesay Gebresilasse)

[nber wp27776] [cepr dp15232]

Journal of Public Economics, March 2021.

Media: CSMonitor

Unity in Diversity? How Intergroup Contact Can Foster Nation Building (with Arya Gaduh, Alex Rothenberg, and Maisy Wong)

American Economic Review, November 2019.

[final draft] [replication data] [VoxEU article] [AEA Research Highlight]

The Political Boundaries of Ethnic Divisions (with Matthew Gudgeon)

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, January 2021.

[final draft] [nber wp24625] [cepr dp12552] [VoxDev article] [replication data]

The Institutional Foundations of Religious Politics: Evidence from Indonesia (with Benjamin Marx and Gabriel Koehler-Derrick)

Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2020.

[final draft] [replication data]

The Promise and Pitfalls of Conflict Prediction: Evidence from Colombia and Indonesia (with Robert Blair, Christopher Blattman, Oeindrila Dube, Matthew Gudgeon, and Richard Peck)

Review of Economics and Statistics, Forthcoming.

[final draft] [nber wp25980] [replication data]

Economic Shocks and Conflict: Evidence from Commodity Prices (with Christopher Blattman)

American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, October 2014 (Lead Article).

[final draft] [online appendix] [replication data] [commodity data]


Deterring Illegal Entry: Migrant Sanctions and Recidivism in Border Apprehensions (with Sarah Burns, Gordon Hanson, Bryan Roberts, and John Whitley)

American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, August 2021 (Lead Article).

[NBER Digest]

Wealth Heterogeneity and the Income Elasticity of Migration

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, April 2017.

[final draft] [online appendix] [replication data]

background notes: international migration from Indonesia, heterogeneity and aggregation

Skill Transferability, Migration, and Development: Evidence from Population Resettlement in Indonesia (with Arya Gaduh, Alex Rothenberg, and Maisy Wong)

American Economic Review, September 2016.

[final draft] [online appendix] [slides] [IGC blog post] [VoxDev article] [replication data]


Blunt Instruments: Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Identifying the Causes of Economic Growth (with Michael Clemens)

American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, April 2013.

[final draft] [online appendix] [replication data]

Counting Chickens When They Hatch: Timing and the Effects of Aid on Growth (with Rikhil Bhavnani, Michael Clemens, and Steven Radelet)

The Economic Journal, June 2012.

Recipient of the Royal Economic Society Prize for best non-solicited paper published in The Economic Journal in 2012.

[final draft] [online appendix] [replication data]

Social Protection

Finding the Poor vs. Measuring Their Poverty: Exploring the Drivers of Targeting Effectiveness in Indonesia (with Adama Bah, Julia Tobias, and Sudarno Sumarto)

World Bank Economic Review, October 2019.

It's All in the Timing: Cash Transfers and Consumption Smoothing in a Developing Country (with Sudarno Sumarto and Asep Suryahadi)

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, November 2015.

[final draft] [online appendix] [replication data: email me]

work in progress

Frontier Settlement and Nation Building

The Confederate Diaspora (with Andreas Ferrara, Martin Fiszbein, Thomas Pearson, and Patrick Testa)

Guns, Rails, and Letters: Territorial Expansion and Nation Building in the United States (with Chelsea Carter, Martin Fiszbein, and Mesay Gebresilasse)

The Frontier Roots of Religious Politics in the United States (with Martin Fiszbein and Benjamin Marx)

Representation and Public Goods

Accountability, State Capacity, and Public Goods (with Filipe Campante, Quoc-Anh Do, Radhika Goyal, Matthew Gudgeon, and Karthik Muralidharan)

Building Capacity at Scale: Impacts of Training Local Officials in Indonesia's 75,000 Villages (with Masyhur Hilmy, Benjamin Marx, Mahvish Shaukat, and Andreas Stegmann)

Cultural Change

Digital Islam (with Benjamin Marx)

Cultural Origins of Fertility Decline: Evidence from Population Resettlement in Indonesia (with Hillel Rapoport and Martin Fernandez Sanchez)


Virtual Migration: Online Labor Markets and Spatial Labor Misallocation (with Bo Cowgill, Zoë Cullen, and Rizki Siregar)

[AEA RCT registry] Pilot completed.


Firms, Workers, and Productivity

Identifying Productivity Spillovers Using the Structure of Production Networks (with Amalavoyal Chari, Shanthi Nataraj, and Alexander D. Rothenberg)

[VoxDev article]

Individualism and Innovation (with Enrico Berkes, Martin Fiszbein, and Christian Fons-Rosen)

When Regional Policies Fail: An Evaluation of Indonesia's Integrated Economic Development Zones (with Amalavoyal Chari, Shanthi Nataraj, and Alexander D. Rothenberg)

Assessing the Spatial Concentration of Indonesia's Manufacturing Sector: Evidence from Three Decades (with Amalavoyal Chari, Shanthi Nataraj, and Alexander D. Rothenberg)

Labor Reallocation in Response to Trade Reform (with Naèrcio Aquino Menezes-Filho and Marc-Andreas Muendler)

publications in health journals (with my better half)

Behavioral changes following HIV seroconversion during the historical expansion of HIV treatment in the United States (with Angela R. Bazzi and Wenjia Zhu)

AIDS, October 2018.

Incidence and Predictors of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections among Female Sex Workers and Their Intimate Male Partners in Northern Mexico: A Longitudinal, Multilevel Study (with Angela R. Bazzi, Gudelia Rangel, Gustavo Martinez, Monica D. Ulibarri, Jennifer L. Syvertsen, Scott Roesch, Heather A. Pines, Steffanie A. Strathdee)

American Journal of Epidemiology, March 2015.