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Alberto Alesina

Alberto Alesina was the Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy at Harvard. He passed away suddenly on May 23, 2020. He served as chairman of the department of economics from 2003–2006 and obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1986. He was also a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Center for Economic Policy Research. He was a member of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He was a leader in the field of Political Economics and published extensively in all major academic journals in economics. He published several books and edited many more. His most recent book was Austerity: When it Works and When it Doesn't (Princeton University Press, 2019) for which he was the co-recipient of the Hayek Book Prize. He served as a co-editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics for eight years and associate editor of many academic journals. His work covered a variety of topics: political business cycles, the political economy of fiscal policy and budget deficits, the process of European integration, stabilization policies in high inflation countries, the determination of the size of countries, currency unions, the political economic determinants of redistributive policies, differences in the welfare state in the U.S. and Europe, and more generally, differences in the economic system in the U.S. and Europe, the effect of alternative electoral systems on economic policies, and the determination of the choice of different electoral systems.


  • Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy, Harvard University
  • Faculty Associate, CES, Harvard University