Tim Besley's publications and data


Principled Agents? The Political Economy of Good Government, The Lindahl Lectures, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007
Oxford University Press catalogue entry 

Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economics of Development Clusters (with Torsten Persson), The Yrjö Jahnsson Lectures, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2011 
Further information
Purchase the book from Amazon  

Tax by Design: The Mirrlees Review: Volume I  (joint author), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011
Further information

Selected publications 2010-2017


Gender Quotas and the Crisis of the Mediocre Man: Theory and Evidence from Sweden (with Olle Folke, Torsten Persson and Johanna Rickne), forthcoming in the American Economic Review.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]

Institutions, Volatility and Investment (with Hannes Mueller), forthcoming in the Journal of the European Economic Association
[Download the paper from IDEAS]


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


The Legacy of Historical Conflict: Evidence from Africa (with Marta Reynal-Querol), American Political Science Review, 108 (2), pp. 319-336.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]

The Causes and Consequences of Development Clusters: State Capacity, Peace and Income (with Torsten Persson) Annual Reviews of Economics, Vol. 6, pp. 927-949.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]


Weak States and Steady States: The Dynamics of Fiscal Capacity (with Ethan Ilzetzki and Torsten Persson) American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 5 (4), pp. 205-235. 
[Download the paper from IDEAS]


Incentives and the de Soto Effect (with Konrad Burchardi and Maitreesh Ghatak) Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2012. Volume 127, Issue 1, pp. 238-282. (The Online Appendix to the paper is available here).
[Download the paper from IDEAS]

Estimating the Peace Dividend: The impact of violence on house prices in Northern Ireland (with Hannes Mueller) American Economic Review, 2012. American Economic Association. Volume 102 (2), pp. 810-833.
[Download the paper from IDEAS


The Logic of Political Violence (with Torsten Persson) Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2011. Oxford University Press. Volume 126 (3), pp. 1411-1445.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]     


State Capacity, Conflict and Development (with Torsten Persson) Econometrica, 2010. Volume 78, pp. 1-34.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]

"Political Competition and Economic Performance: Theory and Evidence from the United States" (with Torsten Persson and Daniel Sturm) Review of Economic Studies, 2010. Volume 77(3), pp. 1329-1352.    

Selected publications 2000-2009


The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation and Politics (with Torsten Persson), American Economic Review, 2009. American Economic Association. Volume 99 (4), pp. 1218-44.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]


Electoral Bias and Policy Choice: Theory and Evidence (with Ian Preston) Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2007. Volume 122 (4), pp. 1473-1510.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]


Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand?: Media Capture and Government Accountability (with Andrea Prat), American Economic Review, 2006. Volume 96 (3), pp. 720-736.
[Download the paper from IDEAS


Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents  (with Maitreesh Ghatak), American Economic Review, 2005. Volume 95 (3), pp. 616-636.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]  


Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India (with Robin Burgess) Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2004. Volume 19 (1), pp. 91-134. [Data available from EOPP Indian States Data]
[Download the paper from IDEAS]


The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India (with Robin Burgess), Quarterly Journal of Economics, November 2002. Volume 117(4), pp. 1415-1452. [Data available from EOPP Indian States Data
[Download the paper from IDEAS]


Government versus Private Ownership of Public Goods (with Maitreesh Ghatak), Quarterly Journal of Economics , November 2001. Volume 116 (4), pp. 1443-1372.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]

Lobbying and Welfare in a Representative Democracy (with Stephen Coate), Review of Economic Studies, 2001. Volume 68 (1), pp. 67-82C, 234. 
[Download the paper from IDEAS]   


Land Reform, Poverty Reduction and Growth: Evidence from India (with Robin Burgess), Quarterly Journal of Economics,  May 2000. Volume  115 (2), pp. 389-430. [Data available from EOPP Indian States Data]  
[Download the paper from IDEAS]  

Selected publications 1991-1998


Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis, (with Stephen Coate), American Economic Review, 1998. American Economic Association. Volume 88 (1), pp. 139-156.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]


An Economic Model of Representative Democracy, (with Stephen Coate), Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1997. Volume 108(1), pp. 85-114.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]


Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana. Journal of Political Economy, 1995, Volume 103 (5), pp. 903-937.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]

Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits (with Anne Case), Quarterly Journal of Economics, August 1995. Volume 110 (3), pp. 769-798.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]

The Design of Income Maintenance Programs (with Stephen Coate), Review of Economic Studies, April 1995. Volume 62 (2), pp. 187-221.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]

Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition (with Anne Case), American Economic Review, March 1995. Volume 85 (1), pp. 25-45.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]


Rotating Savings and Credit Associations, Credit Markets and Efficiency (with Stephen Coate and Glenn Loury), Review of Economic Studies, October 1994. Volume 61 (4), pp. 701-719.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]

Thy Neighbor's Keeper: The Design of a Credit Cooperative with Theory and a Test (with Abhijit Banerjee and Timothy Guinnane), Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 1994. Volume 109 (2), pp. 491-515.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]


Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States (with Anne Case) Journal of Economic Literature, March 1993. Volume 41(1), pp. 7-73.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]

The Economics of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (with Stephen Coate and Glenn Loury), American Economic Review, American Economic Association. Volume 83 (4), pp. 792-810.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]


Workfare versus Welfare: Incentive Arguments for Work Requirements in Poverty Alleviation Programs (with Stephen Coate), American Economic Review, American Economic Association, March 1992. Volume 82 (1), pp. 249- 261.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]


Decentralizing Public Good Supply (with Ian Jewitt), Econometrica,  Econometric Society, November 1991. Volume 59 (6), pp. 1769- 1777.
[Download the paper from IDEAS]

Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income (with Stephen Coate), American Economic Review, American Economic Association, September 1991. Volume 81 (4), pp. 979-984. Technical Material   
[Download the paper from IDEAS]    

Current working papers


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


Old Unpublished Papers:

Health and Democracy (with Masayuki Kudamatsu)
A shorter version of this paper was published in American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, May, 2006

The New Political Economy A paper based on Keynes Lecture in Economics, 2004

Economic Development in Imperfect Economies: Remarks prepared for a panel on Development and Transition at A Conference for Joe Stiglitz's 60th Birthday, Columbia University

Review of Economic Studies Lecture Notes - These notes were prepared for the Review of Economic Studies lecture that I gave in Warwick in 1998 and were used subsequently for a course (GV 507) taught at the LSE in Michaelmas term 1999

Royal Economic Society Easter School (April 2004)

Welfare Economics and Public Choice, published in the Encyclopaedia of Public Choice, edited by Charles Rowley, Kluwer Academic Publishers March 2003

Elected versus Appointed Regulators, published in the Encyclopaedia of Public Choice, edited by Charles Rowley, Kluwer Academic Publishers March 2003

Introductory chapter to Development Challenges in the 1990s: Leading Policy Makers Speak From Experience, edited by Timothy Besley and Roberto Zagha for the World Bank

Political Institutions and Policy Competition These notes were written for a workshop for the 2001 World Development Report in Institutions

Issue Unbundling via Citizens' Initiatives: Appendix (with Stephen Coate) This paper was published in the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 2008: Volume 3, issue 4. The Appendix to the paper which was not published and is available here.

Making Autocracy Work (with Masa Kudamatsu) This is a longer version of a paper that was published in "Institutions and Economic Performance", edited by Elhanan Helpman, Harvard University Press, 2008. The longer version mainly contains a more extensive literature review.

Transition and Transition Impact (with Mathias Dewatripont and Sergei Guriev) A report written for the EBRD