Alesina, Alberto, and Paola Giuliano. 2014. “Family Ties.” Handbook of Economic Growth, edited by Philippe Aghion and Steven N Durlauf, 2A: 177-215. The Netherlands: North Holland. Abstract
We study the role of the most primitive institution in society: the family. Its organization and relationship between generations shape values formation, economic outcomes and influences national institutions. We use the World Values Survey to measure the strength of family ties and economic attitudes, controlling for country fixed effects. We study several economic attitudes, toward working women, society, generalized morality and civic engagement. Individuals with strong family ties have more traditional beliefs about the role of women in society, are more reluctant to accept changes in society and innovation and show a lower level of trust. We also uncover interesting correlations at the country level, where the strength of family ties is associated with lower GDP and lower quality of institutions. These results remain valid if one exploits the correlation between inherited family values and current institutions and level of development, indicating a strong persistence in family values. The quality of family relationships, on the positive side, increases happiness, life satisfaction, and self-reported health.
Alesina, Alberto, Philippe Aghion, Francesco Trebbi, and E Helpman. 2008. “Democracy, Technology and Growth.” Institutions and Economic Performance, 511-43. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Abstract
We explore the question of how political institutions and particularly democracy affect economic growth. Although empirical evidence of a positive effect of democracy on economic performance in the aggregate is weak, we provide evidence that democracy influences productivity growth in different sectors differently and that this differential effect may be one of the reasons of the ambiguity of the aggregate results. We provide evidence that political rights are conducive to growth in more advanced sectors of an economy, while they do not matter or have a negative effect on growth in sectors far away from the technological frontier. One channel of explanation goes through the beneficial effects of democracy and political rights on the freedom of entry in markets. Overall, democracies tend to have much lower entry barriers than autocracies, because political accountability reduces the protection of vested interests, and entry in turn is known to be generally more growth-enhancing in sectors that are closer to the technological frontier. We present empirical evidence that supports this entry explanation.
Alesina, Alberto, Alberto Carrasquilla, and Roberto Steiner. 2005. “The Central Bank of Colombia.” Institutional Reforms in Colombia, edited by A Alesina. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Alesina, Alberto, Alberto Carrasquilla, and Juan Jose Echevarria. 2005. “Decentralization in Colombia.” Institutional reforms in Colombia, edited by A Alesina. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Alesina, Alberto, Enrico Spolaore, and Romain Wacziarg. 2005. “Trade, Growth and the Size of Countries.” Handbook of Economic Growth, edited by P Aghion and S Durlauf. 1499-1542: North Holland, Amsterdam.
Alesina, Alberto, and Romain Wacziarg. 2000. “The Economics of Social Trust.” Disaffected Democracies, edited by S Pharr and R Putnam. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Alesina, Alberto, and Roberto Perotti. 1999. “Budget Deficits and Budget Institutions.” Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, edited by J Poterba and J von Hagen, 13-36. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press and NBER.
Alesina, Alberto. 1999. “Too Large and Too Small Governments.” Economic Policy and Equity, edited by V Tanzi, Ke-Young Chu, and S Gupta. Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund.