Publications by Type: Journal Article

2000
Alesina, Alberto, and Eliana La Ferrara. 2000. “Participation in Heterogeneous Communities.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 115: 847-904. Abstract
This paper studies what determines group formation and the degree of participation when the population is heterogeneous, both in terms of income and race or ethnicity. We are especially interested in whether and how much the degree of heterogeneity in communities influences the amount of participation in different types of groups. Using survey data on group membership and data on U. S. localities, we flnd that, after controlling for many individual characteristics, participation in social activities is significantly lower in more unequal and in more racially or ethnically fragmented localities. We also find that those individuals who express views against racial mixing are less prone to participate in groups the more racially heterogeneous their community is. These results are consistent with our model of group formation.
Article
Alesina, Alberto, Reza Baqir, and William Easterly. 2000. “Redistributive Public Employment.” Journal of Urban Economics 48: 219-41. Abstract
Politicians may use disguised' redistributive policies in order to circumvent opposition to explicit tax-transfer schemes. First, we present a theoretical model that formalizes this hypothesis; then we provide evidence that in US cities, politicians use public employment as such a redistributive device. We find that city employment is significantly higher in cities where income inequality and ethnic fragmentation are higher.
Article
Alesina, Alberto, Enrico Spolaore, and Romain Wacziarg. 2000. “Economic Integration and Political Disintegration.” American Economic Review 90: 1276-96. Abstract
Trade liberalization and political separatism go hand in hand. In a world of trade restrictions, large countries enjoy economic benefits because political boundaries determine the size of the market. In a world of free trade and global markets even relatively small cultural, linguistic or ethnic groups can benefit from forming small and homogeneous political jurisdictions that trade peacefully and are economically integrated with others. This paper provides a formal model of the relationship between openness and the equilibrium number and size of countries, and successfully tests two implications of the model. The first one is that the economic benefits of country size depend on and are mediated by the degree of openness to trade. The second is that the history of Nation-State creations and secessions is influenced by the trade regime.
Article

Reprinted in R. Pornfret (2004), Economic Analysis of Regional Trading Agreements, Edward Elgar, UK.

1999
Alesina, Alberto, Ricardo Hausmann, Rudolf Hommes, and Ernesto Stein. 1999. “Budget Institutions and Fiscal Performance in Latin America.” Journal of Development Economics 59: 233-53.
Alesina, Alberto, Reza Baqir, and William Easterly. 1999. “Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 114: 1234-84.
Alesina, Alberto, and Romain Wacziarg. 1999. “Is Europe Going Too Far?” Journal of Monetary Economics Carnegie-Rochester Conference Volume: 1-42.
1998
Alesina, Alberto, Roberto Perotti, and Jose Tavares. 1998. “The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments.” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity Spring: 197-266.
Alesina, Alberto, and Roberto Perotti. 1998. “Economic Risk and Political Risk in Fiscal Unions.” Economic Journal 108: 989-1009.
Alesina, Alberto, and Romain Wacziarg. 1998. “Openness, Country Size and the Government.” Journal of Public Economics 69: 305-322.
Alesina, Alberto, and Silvia Ardagna. 1998. “Tales of Fiscal Adjustments.” Economic Policy 27: 489-545.
1997
Alesina, Alberto. 1997. “Comments on "Europe Gamble" by M. Obstfeld.” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity Fall.
Alesina, Alberto, and Roberto Perotti. 1997. “Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects.” IMF Staff Papers 44: 297-329.
Alesina, Alberto, and Enrico Spolaore. 1997. “On the Number and Size of Nations.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 112: 1027-56.
Alesina, Alberto, and Roberto Perotti. 1997. “The Welfare State and Competitiveness.” American Economic Review 87: 921-39.
1996
Alesina, Alberto, and Roberto Perotti. 1996. “Fiscal Discipline and the Budget Process.” American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings May: 401-407.
Alesina, Alberto, Sule Ozler, Nouriel Roubini, and Philip Swagel. 1996. “Political Instability and Economic Growth.” Journal of Economic Growth 2: 189-213.
Alesina, Alberto, and Roberto Perotti. 1996. “Income Distribution, Political Instability and Investment.” European Economic Review 40: 1202-29.
Alesina, Alberto, and Roberto Perotti. 1996. “Reducing Budget Deficits.” Swedish Economic Policy Review 3: 113-34.
Alesina, Alberto, John Londregan, and Howard Rosenthal. 1996. “The 1992, 1994 and 1996 Elections: A Comment and a Forecast.” Public Choice 88: 115-25.
Alesina, Alberto, and Howard Rosenthal. 1996. “A Theory of Divided Government.” Econometrica 64: 1311-42.

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