Priyam Verma

About Me: I am a trade economist. I did my Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Houston. Here is the link to my CV. My interests span international, spatial, and macro-economics. In my research, I study spatial outcomes and optimal regional policies through the lens of quantitative trade models. I focus on highlighting synergies between investments and trade policies to optimize regional gains from trade, and identifying the origins of spatial heterogeneity. I co-organize a spatial trade reading group at AMSE. I can be reached at

I will be available on the 2024 AEA and EEA job markets. 

Post-Doctoral Fellow 

Aix-Marseille School of Economics

253 MEGA

424 Chemin du Viaduc 

Aix-en-Provence, 13100, France


Working Papers

Abstract: In this paper, we bring fresh evidence on the city size distribution from a lab represented by the Bukhara region from 3rd B.C. to the 9th. This region was homogeneous in all respects (technology, amenities, climate, language, religion, etc.). Yet, cities had different size. We rationalize the city size distribution of this economy with only two elements: spatial centrality and cost of traveling. We embed these two elements in a discrete choice model of location. We estimate model parameters in the data using method of moments. Further statistical tests show that while city locations and number are not distinguishable from a random draw, population is larger in spatially central location. The silk road is the only element that perturbed the otherwise homogeneous space. The silk road crossed a number of cities but only those that were stopover places for merchant’s caravan have an abnormally larger population. The city size distribution passes the test of log normality and rank size relation is concave as predicted by stochastic growth theories though clearly the Bukhara region economy did not have any of the mechanisms of stochastic growth models.Presentations: Iowa State, U. Houston, EEA-ESEM (Barcelona), Ifo Institute (Dresden), UEA (Toronto), EWMES (Manchester)

Work in Progress


Non-Economics Publications