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Full Professor
Department of Economics

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Courses previous a.y.

Biographical note

Eliana La Ferrara is the Fondazione Romeo ed Enrica Invernizzi Chair in Development Economics at Università Bocconi.  She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University (1999) and a M.Sc. in Economics and Social Sciences from Università Bocconi (1993). Her research covers topics related to development and political economics, and has been published in leading academic journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the American Economic Review, the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics and the Journal of the European Economic Association. She is the recipient of various research grants from the European Research Council (ERC) and the European Commission.

Academic CV

  • Scientific Director of the Laboratory for Effective AntiPoverty Policies (LEAP).
  • President of the Bureau for Research in Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), 2016-2019.
  • 2018 President of the European Economic Association
  • Econometric Society Fellow
  • Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • JPAL Affiliate
  • Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), of the Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER) and of the European Development Research Network (EUDN).

Research areas

Development economics, political economics, public economics.



Selected publications

  • “The Political Economy of Program Enforcement: Evidence from Brazil” (with F. Brollo and K. Kaufmann), Journal of the European Economic Association, forthcoming.
  • “Conflict, Climate and Cells: A Disaggregated Analysis” (with M. Harari), Review of Economics and Statistics, 100(4), 594-608, 2018.
  • “Customary Norms, Inheritance and Human Capital. Evidence from a Reform of the Matrilineal System in Ghana” (with A. Milazzo), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 9(4), 166-85, 2017.
  • “Market-based Lobbying: Evidence from Advertising Spending in Italy” (with S. DellaVigna, R. Durante and B. Knight), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2016.
  • “A Test of Racial Bias in Capital Sentencing” (with A. Alesina), American Economic Review, 2014.
  • “Soap Operas and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil” (with A. Chong and S. Duryea), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2012.
  • “Detecting Illegal Arms Trade” (with S. DellaVigna), American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2010.
  • “Diamonds Are Forever, Wars Are Not. Is Conflict Bad for Private Firms?” (with M. Guidolin), American Economic Review, 2007.
  • “Descent Rules and Strategic Transfers. Evidence from Matrilineal Groups in Ghana”, Journal of Development Economics, 2007.
  • “Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance” (with A. Alesina), Journal of Economic Literature, 2005.
  •  "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities" (with A. Alesina), Journal of Public Economics, 2005.
  • "Kin Groups and Reciprocity: A Model of Credit Transactions in Ghana", American Economic Review, 2003.
  • "Inequality and Group Participation: Theory and Evidence from Rural Tanzania", Journal of Public Economics, 2002.
  • "Who Trusts Others?" (with A. Alesina), Journal of Public Economics, 2002.
  • "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities" (with A. Alesina), The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2000.