• Hi!
    I'm Arthur

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Economics
    University of Toronto

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About Me

Who Am I?

Hi I'm Arthur Blouin I'm an economist at the University of Toronto. I work on how relationships between people, firms, ethnic groups influence the process of economic development.

I teach 3rd and 4th year Economic Dvelopment in the fall, and I teach 4th year and Ph.D. methods in empirical microeconomics in the winter term.


My projects

Completed projects ordered by most recently published

Erasing Ethnicity? Propaganda, Nation Building, and Identity in Rwanda

With Sharun Mukand

Journal of Political Economy, 127, no. 3, June 2019, Pages 1008-1062

Paper Slides Marginal Revolution Nature Human Behaviour Research Highlight

Strategic Default in the International Coffee Market

With Rocco Macchiavello

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 134, Issue 2, May 2019, Pages 895–951

Paper Slides VoxDev
Projects that have been submitted or are under revision, in order of last touched

Culture and Contracts: The Historical Legacy of Forced Labour

The Economic Journal, Conditionally Accepted

Paper Slides

Axis-orientation and knowledge transmission: Evidence from the Bantu expansion

Journal of Economic Growth, R&R

Paper Slides (super old) Data (soon)
Not yet finished projects, in rough order of current priority

How Diversity Develops: An empirical investigation of cross-cultural linguistic exchange

With Julian Dyer

Paper Slides Data (soon)

Globalization of Capital Flows, State Capacity and the (In)Disciplining of Nations

With Sayantan Ghosal and Sharun Mukand

Paper Slides (I haven't actually presented this one) Data (soon)

Stuff I'm reading, or learning, or other misc.

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A restaurant plug

Brassica is a restaurant in Ottawa run by some friends of ours. They just opened the place in January after the apartment above their old restaurant, Allium, was (allegedly) set on fire, and they lost the place. They catered our wedding (and the food was spectacular), their old place was our favourite restaurant (the food was spectacular), and I can't wait to be back in Ottawa to be able to support their new place. I definitely can't recommend Arup and Maggie enough, and I'm sure you won't be disappointed if you try Brassica.

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What I'm trying to find time to read for fun

I'm jumping on the bandwagon, I just started it. She paints a surprisingly over-the-top dire picture for an academic. That's not meant as a critique, I was just surprised. The idea is we've stumbled into a new (terrible) economic order very quickly. She draws the analogy that human experiences are the new raw material, which are mined and processed by Google, etc. These experiences are processed and repackaged into predictions, a valuable finished product that is sold to firms, who use this new product to manipulate people. That's all totally straightforward. Where she's losing me so far is how dire the situation is, but I'm pretty intrigued and open to the argument. Lines like "it is no longer enough to automate information flows about us; the goal now is to automate us" seem aggressive, but I'm certainly curious to see where this goes!

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AI and Machine Learning

Kind of related to the book, I'm trying to learn more about machine learning. I'm working on a project that uses some machine learning techniques but am learning. The internet keeps telling me stuff like AI can tell me the best stocks to buy. For whatever it's worth, Elon Musk thinks we're all doomed (again, maybe the book to the left is a more reasonable source for that sentiment). I've followed Sendhil's stuff and have read this and this review piece, but I'm interested in reading more about both the econometrics and potential behavioural impact. Recommendations are certainly welcome.

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150 St. George Ave., rm 305. Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3G7