Professor, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy
James Robinson is a Professor at the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy, and a Research Fellow at the NBER and CEPR. Professor Robinson studied economics at the London School of Economics, the University of Warwick and Yale University. He previously taught in the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne, the University of Southern California, the Departments of Economics and Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley and before moving to Chicago was Wilbur A. Cowett Professor of Government at HarvardUniversity.
His main research interests are in comparative economic and political development and he is currently conducting research in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, and in Colombia where he has taught for many years during the summer at the University of the Andes in Bogotá.
Recent work by James Robinson
Providing information about reforms in local courts increases trust in state institutions and decreases use of non-state dispute resolution mechanisms
Ethnic groups with a social structure based on lineage and strong allegiances to distant relatives show a greater propensity for violent conflict
Democracy sees higher GDP due to greater civil liberties, economic reform, increased investment and government capacity, and reduced social conflict
Top-down strategies that prioritise military objectives may fail to develop, or even lead to the deterioration of, other crucial state capacities
While democracy does represent a real shift in political power away from elites, its impact on inequality may be more limited than one might expect