Klaus Desmet

Department of Economics & Cox School of Business
Southern Methodist University


Research Associate, NBER

Research Affiliate, CEPR



SMU Dept of Economics

3300 Dyer, Suite 301

Dallas, TX 75205

kdesmet at smu dot edu


My home town now and then

My other home town


Classes 2018-2019


International Macro Theory and Policy

International Trade PhD






Papers published in refereed academic journals



             1.        The Geography of Development,” Journal of Political Economy, 2018, 126, 903-983, lead article, winner of Lucas Prize (with Dávid Krisztián Nagy and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg). Online Appendix with Video Simulations. Replication Files. Related Vox column.


             2.        Peripheral Diversity: Transfers versus Public Goods,” Social Choice and Welfare, 2017, 49, 787-823 (with Ignacio Ortuño and Shlomo Weber).


             3.        Culture, Ethnicity and Diversity,” American Economic Review, 2017, 107, 2479-2513, lead article (with Ignacio Ortuño and Romain Wacziarg). Online Appendix. Related Vox column.


             4.        The Settlement of the United States, 1800-2000: The Long Transition to Gibrat’s Law,” Journal of Urban Economics, 2017, 98, 50-68 (with Jordan Rappaport). Online Appendix.


             5.        Asia’s Geographic Development,” Asian Development Review, 2017, 34, 1-24 (with Dávid Krisztián Nagy and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg).


             6.        On the Spatial Economic Impact of Global Warming,” Journal of Urban Economics, 2015, 88,16-37 (with Esteban Rossi-Hansberg). Coverage in The Economist. Related Vox column.


             7.        The Spatial Development of India,” Journal of Regional Science, 2015, 55, 10-30 (with Ejaz Ghani, Steve O’Connell and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg). Related Vox column (reproduced in Ideas for India). Economic Premise note. Coverage in Financial Express.


             8.        Resistance to Technology Adoption: The Rise and Decline of Guilds,” Review of Economic Dynamics, 2014, 17, 437-458 (with Stephen Parente). Related Vox column.


             9.        Spatial Development,” American Economic Review, 2014, 104, 1211-43 (with Esteban Rossi-Hansberg). Replication Files.


           10.        Urban Accounting and Welfare,” American Economic Review, 2013, 103, 2296-2327 (with Esteban Rossi-Hansberg). Related Vox column (in Japanese). Replication Files.


           11.        The Evolution of Markets and the Revolution of Industry: A Unified Theory of Growth,” Journal of Economic Growth, 2012, 17, 205-234 (with Stephen Parente).


           12.        Hub-and-Spoke Free Trade Areas,” Canadian Journal of Economics, 2012, 45, 942-977 (with Giovanni Facchini and George Deltas).


           13.        Innovation in Space,” American Economic Review P&P, 2012, 102, 447-52 (with Esteban Rossi-Hansberg).


           14.        The Political Economy of Linguistic Cleavages,” Journal of Development Economics, 2012, 97, 322-338 (with Ignacio Ortuño and Romain Wacziarg). ELF and Polarization Data (different levels of aggregation).


           15.        The Stability and Breakup of Nations: A Quantitative Analysis,” Journal of Economic Growth, 2011, 16, 183-213 (with Michel Le Breton, Ignacio Ortuño and Shlomo Weber). Coverage in BBC, Radio Nacional de España, El Mundo.


           16.        Bigger is Better: Market Size, Demand Elasticity and Innovation,” International Economic Review, 2010, 51, 319-333 (with Stephen Parente).


           17.        On Spatial Dynamics,” Journal of Regional Science, 2010, 50, 43-63 (with Esteban Rossi-Hansberg).


           18.        Spatial Growth and Industry Age,” Journal of Economic Theory, 2009, 144, 2477-2502 (with Esteban Rossi-Hansberg). Related Vox column.


           19.        Linguistic Diversity and Redistribution,” Journal of the European Economic Association, 2009, 7, 1291-1318 (with Ignacio Ortuño and Shlomo Weber). Linguistic heterogeneity data (accounting for distances)


           20.        Foreign Direct Investment and Spillovers: Gradualism May Be Better,” Canadian Journal of Economics, 2008, 41, 926-953 (with Felipe Meza and Juan Rojas).


           21.        Rational Underdevelopment,” Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2007, 109, 1-24 (with Ignacio Ortuño).


           22.        Inflation in Open Economies with Complete Markets,” Economic Theory, 2007, 31, 271-291 (with Marco Celentani and J. Ignacio Conde).


           23.        Employment Concentration across U.S. Counties,” Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2006, 36, 482-509 (with Marcel Fafchamps).


           24.        Changes in the Spatial Concentration of Employment across U.S. Counties: A Sectoral Analysis 1972-2000?,Journal of Economic Geography, 2005, 5(3), 261-284 (with Marcel Fafchamps).


           25.        Implementing R&D Policies: An Analysis of Spain's Pharmaceutical Research Program,” Research Policy, 2004, 33, 1493-1507 (with Praveen Kujal and Félix Lobo).


           26.        Endogenous Policy Leads to Incomplete Risk Sharing,” Review of Economic Dynamics, 7, 2004, 758-787 (with Marco Celentani and J. Ignacio Conde).


           27.        A Simple Model of Uneven Development and Overtaking,” Economic Journal, 2002, 112, 894-918.


           28.        Accounting for the Mexican Banking Crisis,” Emerging Markets Review, 2000, 1, 165-181.


           29.        A Perfect Foresight Model of Regional Development and Skill Specialization,” Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2000, 30, 221-242.




Completed working papers



           30.        Spatial Competition, Innovation and Institutions: The Industrial Revolution and the Great Divergence,” February 2018 (with Avner Greif and Stephen Parente).


           31.        The Geography of Diversity and the Provision of  Public Goods,” CEPR Discussion Paper #11683 (with Joseph Gomes and Ignacio Ortuño). Online Appendix. Related Vox column. Coverage in Quartz and La Vanguardia.


           32.        Evaluating the Economic Cost of Coastal Flooding,” August 2018 (with Robert Kopp, Scott Kulp, David Nagy, Michael Oppenheimer, Esteban Rossi-Hansberg and Ben Strauss). Related Vox column.


           33.        The Cultural Divide,” NBER Working Paper #24630, CEPR Discussion Paper #12947, May 2018 (with Romain Wacziarg). Online Appendix. Coverage in The Economist and UCLA Anderson Review. Related Pro-Market blog article.




Book chapters 



           34.        The Geography of Development within Countries,” in: Duranton, G., Henderson, J.V. and Strange, W. (Eds.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics vol. 5., Elsevier: Amsterdam, forthcoming (with Vernon Henderson).


           35.        Linguistic Cleavages and Economic Development,” in: Ginsburgh, V. and Weber, S. (Eds.), Palgrave Handbook of Economics and Language, Palgrave McMillan, forthcoming (with Ignacio Ortuño and Romain Wacziarg).


           36.        Analyzing Urban Systems: Have Mega-Cities Become Too Large?,” in: Glaeser, E. and Joshi-Ghani, A. (Eds.), The Urban Imperative: Towards Competitive Cities, Oxford University Press, 2015 (with Esteban Rossi-Hansberg).




Other published work 



           37.        Discussion of The Bank Lending Channel: Evidence from Emerging Economies,” Moneda y Crédito, 2003, 216, 201-203.


           38.        Breaking Down the Barriers to Firm Growth in Europe,” Bruegel Blueprint 18, 2012 (with Loris Rubini, Facundo Piguillem and Aránzazu Crespo).


           39.        Book review of “A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy” by Joel Mokyr, Journal of Economic History, 2018, 78, 1261-1263.