• Hi!
    I'm Arthur

    Associate Professor
    Department of Economics
    University of Toronto

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About Me

Research Summary

I am a development economist with a particular interest in how social and cultural factors influence the process of economic development. My research agenda has focused on Africa, and has drawn heavily from economic history, behavioural economics, and political economy. My work can be broadly grouped as follows: 1) the roots of conflict and process of reconciliation; 2) the nature of the agreements that people make when institutions are imperfect; 3) The roots of diversity and the history of language evolution. Methodologically, I rely on quasi-experimental and experimental research designs, and tend to prioritize investments in novel sources of data.

I am teaching ECO324 (Economic Development) in the fall, and ECO403 (Topics in Development) in the winter term.


My projects

Completed projects ordered by most recently published

Leadership and propaganda in nation building: Evidence from Rwanda under Kagame

With Sharun Mukand

Leadership and Propaganda in Nation Building, Chapter 15, 2023, 1-11.


Mistaking Noise for Bias: Evidence from Hutu-Tutsi Reconciliation in East Africa

With Sharun Mukand

Journal of Development Economics, vol(158), 2022, 102943.


Culture and Contracts: The Historical Legacy of Forced Labour

The Economic Journal, 132(641), 2022, p.p. 89-105 (feature article)

Paper Slides

Axis-orientation and Knowledge Transmission: Evidence from the Bantu Expansion

Journal of Economic Growth, 26(4), 2021, p.p. 359–384.


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

With Sharun Mukand

Journal of Political Economy, 127(3), June 2019, p.p. 1008-1062.

Paper Slides Marginal Revolution NHB Research Highlight

Strategic Default in the International Coffee Market

With Rocco Macchiavello

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 134(2), May 2019, p.p. 895–951

Paper Slides VoxDev Some news coverage
Completed drafts, in order of last touched

Reconstructing history: Using language to estimate religious spread

With Julian Dyer

Revise & resubmit The Journal of Economic History


Enforce or Entrust? Experimental Evidence on Combating Corruption

With Sharun Mukand

Paper available on request Slides available on request

Diversity and the World’s Endangered Languages

With Julian Dyer

Paper Appendix

How Cultures Converge: An Empirical Investigation of Linguistic Exchange, Trade, and Power

With Julian Dyer

Paper Slides

Globalization of Capital Flows and the (In)Disciplining of Nations

With Sayantan Ghosal and Sharun Mukand


The Meritocratic Illusion: Inequality and the Cognitive Basis of Redistribution

With Anandi Mani, Sharun Mukand and Daniel Sgroi

Paper available on request
Works in progress (no draft yet)

Gender Norms and Coffee Yields: A Global Perspective

With Davide Del Prete and Rocco Macchiavello

Paper (soon) Slides (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.

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Just starting it...

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Art Appraisal in Toronto

A quick plug for the world's best art appraiser (and my wife), she operates out of Toronto, specializes in Canadian and European art.

Get in Touch


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