Archives: Podcast

Bishnupriya Gupta: India’s Transition from a Colonial Economy

In this episode we chat with Gupta Bishnupriya about her paper​ “Falling Behind and Catching up — India’s Transition from a Colonial Economy”. Gupta study how India fell behind during colonial rule. Inadequate investment in agriculture and consequent decline in yield per acre stalled economic growth. Modern industries emerged and grew relatively fast. The reversal…

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Leonard Wantchekon: The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa

In this episode we chat with Leonard Wantchekon about his paper​ “The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa”. Leonard and his co-author, Nathan Nunn, study why the current differences in trust levels within Africa can be traced back to the transatlantic and Indian Ocean slave trades. Combining contemporary individual-level survey data with…

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Sara Lowes: the Legacy of Colonial Medicine in Central Africa

In this episode we chat with Sara Lowes about her paper​ “The Legacy of Colonial Medicine in Central Africa”. Sara and her co-author study how the delivery of health aid can be jeopardised by distrust at the local level. Using evidence from French military campaigns in Cameroon and former French Equatorial Africa they show that…

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Davide Ticchi: Political Economy of Science, Religion, and Growth

In this episode we chat with Davide Ticchi about his paper​ “Forbidden Fruits: The Political Economy of Science, Religion, and Growth”. Davide and his co-authors study the coevolution of religion, science and politics and they find a negative relationship between religiosity and patents per capita. They categorized three different regimes and outcomes. Western-European Secularization regime…

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Luigi Pascali: Maritime Technology, Trade and Development in the 20th century

In this episode we chat with Luigi Pascali about his paper​ “The Wind of Change: Maritime Technology, Trade, and Economic Development”. Luigi finds that the introduction of the steamship in the shipping industry produced an asymmetric change in trade distances among countries. Before this invention, trade routes depended on wind patterns. The steamship reduced shipping…

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Melanie Xue: the impact of Folklore on culture end economics

In this episode we chat with Melanie Xue about her paper​ “Folklore”. Melanie and her co-author, Stelios Michalopoulos, focus their research on Folklore, interpreted as the collection of traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community passed through the generations by word of mouth. They find that societies with tales portraying men as dominant and…

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Andrea Matranga: The Invention of Agriculture

In this episode we chat with Andrea about his paper​ “The Ant and the Grasshopper: Seasonality and the Invention of Agriculture”. Andrea finds that the invention and adoption of agriculture were both a response to a large increase in climatic seasonality. In the most affected regions, hunter-gatherers abandoned their traditional nomadism in order to store…

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Jeanet Bentzen: pre-reformation roots of the protestant ethic

In this episode we chat with Jeanet Bentzen about her paper​ “Pre-reformation roots of the protestant ethic”. Jeanet uses an earlier example, of the Cistercian Catholic Order, to show that religious values did influence productivity and economic performance in England and across Europe. The effect of this historic influence has persisted to today. Paper link:…

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Mara Squicciarini: Religiosity and Education in the 19th Century

In this episode we ask Mara Squicciarini about her paper​ “Devotion and Development: Religiosity, Education, and Economic Progress in 19th-century France”, published in the American Economic Review in 2020. In her study, Mara finds that more religious locations had lower economic development after 1870. Schooling appears to be the key mechanism: more religious areas saw…

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