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Stephen Haber

Stephen Haber, CES guest in July 2014

Institutions and Underdevelopment

To what extent do political institutions "hold up" innovation and improvements in living standards? This is the focus of Stephen Haber's research. In one study he looked at how differences in the types of crops that will grow in different natural environments affect the social organisation of production in that society, and how those differences in the organisation of production shape societies' fundamental political and economic institutions.

Stephen Haber's research spans a number of academic disciplines, including comparative politics, financial economics and economic history. His current research focuses on two areas: the impact of geography on the long-run evolution of economic and political institutions; and the political conditions under which societies sustain intellectual property systems that promote innovation.

During his stay at CES, Mr Haber will offer a lecture series on the "Political Economy of Development and Underdevelopment." This series addresses a number of frontier issues in development, including the role of climate in shaping economic development, the political origins of banking crises and the causes of the US Subprime Crisis.

Stephen Haber is the A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. In addition, he is Professor of Political Science, Professor of History, and Professor of Economics (by courtesy), as well as a Senior Fellow of both the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and the Stanford Center for International Development.

He has authored, coauthored, or edited ten books, and his papers have been published in journals such as American Political Science Review, World Politics, International Security, the Journal of Economic History, the Hispanic American Historical Review, the Journal of Banking and Finance and the Journal of International Business Studies. His most recent book, Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit (coauthored with Charles Calomiris) was published by Princeton University Press in 2014.