Current working papers

Web search personalization during the 2020 US election (with Ulrich Matter), conditionally accepted at the American Economic Review: Insights.

Mining for peace (with Paul Schaudt and Alberto Vesperoni).

Ethnic clustering in schools and early career outcomes (with Caroline Chuard, Annatina Aerne and Beatrix Eugster).

Ethnofederalism and ethnic voting (with Richard Bluhm and Paul Schaudt).

Local majorities: How administrative divisions shape comparative development (with Richard Bluhm and Paul Schaudt).

Main publications

Partisan effects of information campaigns in competitive authoritarian elections: Evidence from Bangladesh (with Firoz Ahmed and Asad Islam), Economic Journal, 2024.

Ethnic geography: Measurement and evidence (with Michele Valsecchi and Alberto Vesperoni), Journal of Public Economics, 2021.

Measuring ethnic stratification and its effect on trust in Africa (with Sorawoot Srisuma, Alberto Vesperoni and Noémie Zurlinden), Journal of Development Economics, 2020.

Effect of oil spills on infant mortality in Nigeria (with Anna Bruederle), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.

African leaders and the geography of China's foreign assistance (with Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Brad Parks, Paul Raschky and Michael Tierney), Journal of Development Economics, 2019.

Ethnic favoritism: An axiom of politics? (with Giacomo De Luca, Paul Raschky and Michele Valsecchi), Journal of Development Economics, 2018.

The effects of voting costs on the democratic process and public finances (with Simon Luechinger and Alois Stutzer), American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2015.

Regional favoritism (with Paul Raschky), Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2014.

Development (paradigm) failures (with Axel Dreher), Journal of Development Economics, 2013.

Inefficient policies and incumbency advantage (with Simon Loertscher and Dominic Rohner), Journal of Public Economics, 2010.

Natural resources, democracy and corruption (with Sambit Bhattacharyya), European Economic Review, 2010.

Industrial policy in an imperfect world, Journal of Development Economics, 2009.

The curse of natural resources in fractionalized countries, European Economic Review, 2006.

Further journal articles

Key players in economic development (with Ashani Amarasinghe, Paul Raschky and Yves Zenou), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, forthcoming.

Religion and terrorism: Evidence from Ramadan fasting (with Paul Raschky and Anthony Strittmatter), Journal of Peace Research, forthcoming.

Institutions and the resource curse: New insights from causal machine learning (with Michael Lechner and Paul Raschky), PLOS One, 2023.

Is favoritism a threat to Chinese aid effectiveness? A subnational analysis of Chinese development projects (with Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, Paul Raschky and Michael Tierney), World Development, 2021. 

Expropriations, property confiscations and new offshore entities: Evidence from the Panama Papers (with Ralph Bayer, Paul Raschky and Anthony Strittmatter), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2020.

Economic effects of genocide: Evidence from Rwanda, Journal of African Economies, 2019.

Wars of conquest and independence (with Hadi Yektas, Magnus Hoffmann and Friedhelm Hentschel), Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 2019.

The political economics of the Arab Spring, Economic Inquiry, 2018.

Nighttime lights as a proxy for human development at the local level (with Anna Bruederle), PLOS One, 2018.

Ethnic politics and the diffusion of mobile technology in Africa (with Paul Raschky), Economics Letters, 2017.

Media freedom and democracy in the fight against corruption (with Sambit Bhattacharyya), European Journal of Political Economy, 2015.

Economic shocks and civil conflict at the regional level (with Paul Raschky), Economics Letters, 2014.

Do natural resource revenues hinder financial development? The role of political institutions (with Sambit Bhattacharyya), World Development, 2014.

Persuasion, binary choice, and the costs of dishonesty (with Simon Loertscher and Dominic Rohner), Economics Letters, 2014.

All-pay war (with Hadi Yektas), Games and Economic Behavior, 2012.

Electoral terms and terrorism (with Dominic Rohner), Public Choice, 2012.

Ethnic fractionalisation and aid effectiveness (with David Knight), Journal of African Economies, 2012.

Elections and the strategic use of budget deficits, Public Choice, 2011.

Institutions, trade, and the political economy of financial development, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 2011.

Natural resources and income inequality: The role of ethnic divisions (with Ruikang Fum), Economics Letters, 2010.

Redistribution and inequality in a heterogeneous society, Economica, 2009.

Leisure and redistribution, European Journal of Political Economy, 2008.

What determines financial development? Culture, institutions or trade (with Nils Herger and Michael Lobsiger), Review of World Economics, 2008.

Rent seeking and aid effectiveness, International Tax and Public Finance, 2007.

How fiscal decentralization flattens progressive taxes (with Kurt Schmidheiny), FinanzArchiv, 2006.