A Lifetime of Research on Prosperity and Institutions
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.