Tim Besley's publications and data

Selected Publications

Principled Agents? The Political Economy of Good Government, The Lindahl Lectures, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economics of Development Clusters, (with Torsten Persson), The Yrjö Jahnsson Lectures, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011.

Incumbent Behavior:  Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition,(with Anne Case). American Economic Review, 85 (1), March 1995, 25-45.

Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana, Journal of Political Economy,103(5), October 1995, 903-937. (Reprinted in Pranab Bardhan and Christopher Udry, Readings in Development Economics, MIT Press (2000)).

An Economic Model of Representative Democracy, (with Stephen Coate), Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112(1), February 1997, 85-114. (Reprinted in Kaushik Basu (ed), Readings in Political Economy, Basil Blackwell (2002)).

Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents, (with Maitreesh Ghatak), American Economic Review, 95(3), 616-636, 2005.

The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation and Politics, (with Torsten Persson) American Economic Review, 99(4), 1218-44, 2009.

Do Democracies Select More Educated Leaders?(with Marta Reynal-Querol), American Political Science Review, 105(3), 552-566, 2011.

Estimating the Peace Dividend: The Impact of Violence on House Prices in Northern Ireland(with Hannes Mueller), American Economic Review, 102(2), 810-33, 2012.

Incentives and the de Soto effect, (with Konrad Burchardi and Maitreesh Ghatak), Quarterly Journal of Economics, 127(1), 237-282, 2012.

The Legacy of Historical Conflict: Evidence from Africa, (with Marta Reynal-Querol), American Political Science Review, 108(2), 319-336, 2014.

The Welfare Cost of Lawlessness:  Evidence from Somali Piracy, (with Hannes Mueller and Thiemo Fetzer), Journal of the European Economic Association, 13(2), 203-239, 2015.

Aspirations and the Political Economy of Inequality, (2015 Hicks Lecture), Oxford Economic Papers 69(1), 1-35, 2017.

Gender Quotas and the Crisis of the Mediocre Man: Theory and Evidence from Sweden, (with Olle Folke, Torsten Persson and Johanna Rickne), American Economic Review, 2017.

Democratic Values and Institutions, (with Torsten Persson), American Economic Review: Insights, 2019.

State Capacity, Reciprocity and the Social Contract, Econometrica, 88(4) 1307-1335, 2020.

Antitrust policies and profitability in non-tradable sectors, (with Nicola Fontana and Nicola Limodio), American Economic Review: Insights, 2021.

Norms, Enforcement and Tax Evasion, (with Anders Jensen and Torsten Persson), Review of Economics and Statistics, 2023.

The Political Economics of Green Transitions, (with Torsten Persson), Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2023.

Trust and State Effectiveness: The Political Economy of Compliance, (with Sacha Dray), forthcoming in the Economic Journal, 2024.

 Find the full list of Selected Publications here.


Health and Democracy (with Masayuki Kudamatsu) [Download the files from here: Read me, Code book, Base sample, Clean data, Cleaning, Tables]

Data from Halving Global Poverty (with Robin Burgess), published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives 2003. [Download the files from here: Poverty Goals Stata file, Notes on Data, Stata Do File)

EOPP Indian Stata Database with Robin Burgess

Data from Pillars of Prosperity (with Torsten Persson) is available here