Alberto Alesina

Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy, Harvard University; and Research Fellow, CEPR

Alberto Alesina, who passed away in May 2020, was the Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University. He served as Chairman of the Department of Economics from 2003 - 2006. He obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1986. He was also a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Center for Economic Policy Research. He is a member of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He was described as one of the leading political economists of his generation and was published extensively in all major academic journals in economics. He published five books and edited many more. His two most recent books were The Future of Europe: Reform or Decline published by MIT Press (2006), and Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe: A World of Difference, published by Oxford University Press. He had been a Co-editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics for eight years and Associate Editor of many academic journals. He published columns in many leading newspapers around the world and visited several institutions including MIT, Tel Aviv University, University of Stockholm, The World Bank, and the IMF.

His work covered a variety of topics: political business cycles, the political economy of fiscal policy and budget deficits, the process of European integration, stabilization policies in high inflation countries, the determination of the size of countries, currency unions, the political economic determinants of redistributive policies, differences in the welfare state in the US and Europe and, more generally, differences in the economic system in the US and Europe, the effect of alternative electoral systems on economic policies, and the determination of the choice of different electoral systems.

Recent work by Alberto Alesina