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A Lifetime of Research on Prosperity and Institutions

Middle-aged man with grey hair wearing a dark green sweater sits in front of trees.

Stephen Haber has spent his career investigating why the world distribution of income so uneven. He is the author of five books on political institutions and economic development, and the editor of six more. His papers have been published in economics, history, political science, and law journals. His latest project focuses on a long-standing puzzle in the social sciences: why are prosperous democracies not randomly distributed across the planet but, rather, are geographically clustered? Haber and his coauthors answer this question by using geospatial tools to simulate ecological conditions that shaped pre-industrial food production and trade networks. They then employ machine learning methods to elucidate the relationship between regional ecological conditions and the levels of economic development that emerged over the past three centuries. Haber holds a Ph.D. in history from UCLA, and has been on the Stanford faculty since 1987, with appointments in Political Science, History, Economics, the Hoover Institution, and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. 

In The Media
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Policy Forum

The Origins of Human Progress

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Book Review

Battles Over Patents Can Be Productive

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The Impact of Geography on Long-Run Economic Development

Selected Working Papers

The Rise and Fall of the Resource Curse. September 1, 2023.

Transport Corridors (with Roy Elis & Jordan Horrillo). June 5, 2023.

The Ecological Origins of Economic and Political Systems (with Roy Elis & Jordan Horrillo). November. 18, 2021.

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