Research interests: Religion, cultural values, political economy, institutions, economic history, economic development, geography.

The Power of Religion (2023) Journal of Economic Growth 28, 45-78. With Gunes Gokmen.

Replication files. Tweet explaining the paper here.

In Crisis We Pray: Religiosity and the COVID-19 Pandemic (2021) Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 192, p 541-583. Among most cited in JEBO 2020-2023.

Available as column here. Selected press coverage by The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The TelegraphPsychology Today, Freakonomics Radio, The Tablet, The Conversation, Berlingske Tidende.

Replication files.

Acts of God? Religiosity and Natural Disasters Across Subnational World Districts (2019), The Economic Journal 129(622) 2295-2321. 2nd most cited in EJ 2018-2023.

Selected press coverage by The London Times, The Church Times, OUP blog.

Replication files. Online appendix. Additional GIS data.

Power and Persistence: The Indigenous Roots of Representative Democracy (2019) The Economic Journal 129(618) 678-714. With Jacob Gerner Hariri and James A. Robinson
        Online appendix: here. Replication files here.

Irrigation and Autocracy (2017) Journal of European Economic Association 15(1), February. Lead article.
With Nicolai Kaarsen and Asger Moll Wingender   

         Features on Marginal Revolution and Weekendavisen.

         Data and do-files. Irrigation potential GIS data

Pre-Reformation Roots of the Protestant Ethic (2017) The Economic Journal 127(604) 1756-1793. With Thomas Barnebeck Andersen, Carl-Johan Dalgaard, and Paul Sharp.

Features  on voxeu. Press coverage by Weekendavisen.

Data and do-files. Additional GIS data

Lightning, IT Diffusion and Economic Growth across US States (2012) Review of Economics and Statistics 94(4) 903-924.
With Thomas Barnebeck Andersen, Carl-Johan Dalgaard and Pablo Selaya

Selected press coverage by The Wall Street Journal, Politiken.

Data zip file. Web Appendix

How Bad is Corruption? Cross-Country Evidence of the Impact of Corruption on Economic Development (2012) Review of Development Economics 16(1) 167-184.

        Web Appendix
Does the Internet Reduce Corruption? Evidence From U.S. States and Across Countries (2011), World Bank Economic Review 25(3) 387-417. With Thomas Barnebeck Andersen, Carl-Johan Dalgaard and Pablo Selaya. Data zip file.
Credit Demand in Mozambican Manufacturing (2010), Journal of International Development 22(1) 37-55. With Bruce Byiers, John Rand and Finn Tarp. 

Trade and Development: Lessons from Vietnam's Past Trade Agreements (2009), World Development 37(2) 341-353. With Philip Abbott and Finn Tarp. 

Invited book chapters

Did seismic activity lead to the rise of religions? (2023) chapter in Handbook of Economics and Religion, World Scientific (Editor: Robert Sauer). CEPR Discussion Paper version here.

Religiosity and Development (2021) Chapter in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance, Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190625979.013.688.

Online appendix.

Why are some societies more religious than others? (2019) Chapter in Advances in the economics of religion, Palgrave, International Economics Association (Jean-Paul Carvalho, Jared Rubin, and Sriya Iyers, Editors).



In the Name of God! Religiosity and the Transition to Modern Science and Growth (2023). With Lars Harhoff Andersen. CEPR Discussion Paper DP16938 (2022) version here.

    Tweet with paper highlights here

God Politics (2023) With Lena Sperling. CEPR Discussion Paper 37664-1579686228 (2020) version here.


Old Working Papers
The Timing of Industrialization Across Countries (2013) Univ. of Copenhagen Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 13-17. With Nicolai Kaarsen and Asger Moll Wingender.

A critical review of studies on the social and economic impacts of Vietnam's international economic integration (2006), Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM), PRG.2.06.01. With Philip Abbott, P. L. Huong, and Finn Tarp.

Sociale relationer og helbred: Er de ensomme meget ensomme, og er der sammenhæng mellem ensomhed og sygdom? (2003) The Danish National Institute of Social Research Working Paper 08:2003.

Levevilkår blandt folkepensionister uden supplerende indkomst (2003) The Danish National Institute of Social Research Report 03:15. With Jacob Nielsen Arendt, Eigil Boll Hansen, Henning Olsen, Martin Rasmussen, and Brian Rimdal.