Samuel Bazzi is a Professor of Economics in the School of Global Policy and Strategy and the Department of Economics at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). He is also a co-editor at the Journal of Development Economics.

His recent work explores the nation-building process in diverse societies, migration and cultural change, and the political economy of religion. He has a particular interest in how individuals and states adapt to the challenges of diversity, with complementary work in the United States and Indonesia.

Sam is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a Fellow at the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). He is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award in 2020. 

email: sbazzi[at]

see his curriculum vitae 

working papers

Religion, Education, and the State (with Masyhur Hilmy and Benjamin Marx)

[nber wp27073] [cepr dp14689]

Revise and Resubmit, Review of Economic Studies

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

[nber wp31331] [cepr dp18200]

Revise and Resubmit, Review of Economic Studies

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

[nber wp29588] [cepr dp16811]

Frontier History and Gender Norms in the United States (with Abel Brodeur, Martin Fiszbein, and Joanne Haddad)

[nber wp31079] [cepr dp18069]

Campaign Connections (with Claudio Labanca)

[nber wp32183] [cepr dp18172] [VoxEu article]

Turnover, Morale, and Performance in Bureaucracies (with Masyhur Hilmy, Benjamin Marx, Mahvish Shaukat, and Andreas Stegmann)

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

[nber wp31721]


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

[final draft] [nber wp29056] [cepr dp16739

Media: The Economist, Washington Post, NPR Morning Edition, VoxTalks

Quarterly Journal of Economics, August 2023.

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, July 2022.

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

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.

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]

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

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]

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

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]

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]

Short version: Diversity, Contact, and Nation Building : Evidence from Population Resettlement in Indonesia in Nation Building: Big Lessons from Successes and Failures, CEPR E-Book, Dominic Rohner and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, editors, 2023.

Media: Marginal Revolution

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.   

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] 

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]

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]

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]

work in progress

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

Religion in the Digital Age (with Layane Alhorr, Faiz Essa, and Benjamin Marx)

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

Cultural Origins of Fertility Decline (with Hillel Rapoport and Martin Fernandez Sanchez)

Teaching Anti-Corruption Norms (with Masyhur Hilmy, Benjamin Marx, Mahvish Shaukat, and Andreas Stegmann)

The Frontier Roots of Religious America (with Martin Fiszbein and Benjamin Marx)

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

[AEA RCT registry] Pilot completed.


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)

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.