University of Gothenburg

Political Economy & Institutions

Our research under this theme relates to political economy and the functioning of institutions, and how this impacts development.

We shed light on a wide range of issues, including conflict, patterns of national identity, cultural development and divergence, and fiscal capacity. The research is based on microeconomic as well as macroeconomic foundations, and some issues are explored through a historical lens.

Works in progress (selection)

Christina Gravert, Kai Barron, Mette Trier Damgaard and Lisa Norrgren (2021), "Time Preferences and Medication Adherence: A Field Experiment with Pregnant Women in South Africa", CEBI working paper series

Enlund, J. (2021) "Electoral Cycles, Foreign Policy, and Conflict Mitigation: Evidence from Contributors to UN Peacekeeping Operations"

Cristensen and Enlund, J. (2021) "Echoes of Violent Conflict: the Effect of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict on Hate Crimes in the U.S Working Papers in Economics

Recent publications

Pelle Ahlerup, Thushyanthan Baskaran and Arne Bigsten,  “Quality of Government and Economic Growth”, OUP Handbook of Quality of Government, Eds. Marcia Grimes, Bo Rothstein, Monika Bauhr and Andreas Bågenholm, Oxford, 2021.

Ho, Hoang-Anh. “Land Tenure and Economic Development: Evidence from Vietnam”. World Development, 140 (April), 2021.

Ho, Hoang-Anh, Peter Martinsson and Ola Olsson. “The Origins of Cultural Divergence: Evidence from Vietnam”. Journal of Economic Growth, (forthcoming).

Borcan, O., O.Olsson and L. Putterman (2021) “Transition to Agriculture and First State Presence: A Global Analysis”  Explorations in Economic History 82(Oct)

Olsson, O., M. Eriksson Baaz, P. Martinsson (2020) “Fiscal Capacity in ‘Post’-Conflict States: Evidence from Trade on Congo River” Journal of Development Economics 146(Sep), 102506.

Olsson, O. and C. Paik (2019) “A Western Reversal Since the Neolithic? The Long-Run Impact of Early Agriculture” Journal of Economic History 80(1), 100-135.

Borcan, O., O. Olsson and L. Putterman (2018) “State History and Economic Development: Evidence from Six Millennia” Journal of Economic Growth 23(1), 1-40.

Eriksson Baaz, M, J. Verweijen, O. Olsson (2018) “Navigating Taxation on the Congo River: The Interplay of Officialisation and Legitimation” Review of African Political Economy 45(156), 250-266. 

Isaksson, A-S and A. Bigsten (2017) “Clientelism and ethnic divisions”, African Affairs, 116(465).

Pelle Ahlerup, Thushyanthan Baskaran and Arne Bigsten, “Regional wealth and national identity in sub-Saharan Africa”, Journal of Comparative Economics, 45(3): 622-643, 2017.

Pelle Ahlerup, Thushyanthan Baskaran and Arne Bigsten, “Government Impartiality and Sustained Growth in sub-Saharan Africa”, World Development, 83(7): 54-69, 2016.

Ahlerup, P. and A.-S. Isaksson. (2015) ”Ethno-regional favouritism in Sub-Saharan Africa”, Kyklos, 68: 143-52.

Ahlerup, P., T. Baskaran and A. Bigsten. (2015) ”Tax innovations and public revenues in sub-Saharan Africa”, Journal of Development Studies, 51(6): 689-706.

Ahlerup, P. and O. Olsson. (2012) ”Roots of Ethnic Diversity”, Journal of Economic Growth, 17(2):71-102.