• Hi!
    I'm Arthur

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Economics
    University of Toronto

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About Me

Research Summary

I'm an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. I work primarily on investigating why some regions lag behind in economic development while others thrive, with a particular focus on social and cultural factors. I have worked extensively on Hutu / Tutsi conflict and reconciliation in Burundi and Rwanda, on the importance of relationships in the coffee industry, and on the cultural roots of agricultural technology adoption across Sub-Saharan Africa. Recent work explores the role of economic trade in cultural exchange, while a separate set of ongoing projects demonstrates how quickly corruption spreads throughout organizations in northern Tanzania.

I have accumulated a few teaching leaves that I have taken back-to-back, so I am not teaching again until fall 2022.


My projects

Completed projects ordered by most recently published

Culture and Contracts: The Historical Legacy of Forced Labour

Forthcoming, The Economic Journal

Paper Slides

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

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


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
Completed drafts, in order of last touched

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

With Sayantan Ghosal and Sharun Mukand


How Cultures Converge: An empirical investigation of trade and linguistic exchange

With Julian Dyer

Paper Slides Data (soon)

The Meritocratic Illusion: Inequality and the Cognitive Basis of Redistribution

With Anandi Mani, Sharun Mukand and Daniel Sgroi

Paper (soon) Slides (soon) Data (soon)
Works in progress (no draft yet)

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

With Sharun Mukand

Paper (soon) Slides (soon) Data (soon)


With Julian Dyer

Paper (soon) Slides (soon) Data (soon)

A Few Bad Apples: Productivity and Contagious Corruption

With Sharun Mukand

Paper (soon) Slides (soon) Data (soon)

Gender Norms and Coffee Yields: A Global Perspective

With Davide Del Prete and Rocco Macchiavello

Paper (soon) Slides (soon) 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.

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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