Stelios Michalopoulos is Assistant Professor of Economics and came to Brown in 2012. He received his PhD in Economics at Brown University in 2009. Prior to his appointment at Brown, he was Assistant Professor of Economics at Tufts University and recently served as the Deutsche Bank Member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.
Michalopoulos’ research agenda deals with a growing field in economics, examining the historical origins of comparative development. His recent work has studied why some regions have more languages than others and how that has impacted economic development, and why Islam exists in certain geographic locations. He has lately become interested in uncovering the role of contemporary country-level institutional structures, vis-à-vis local ethnic-specific pre-colonial institutions, in shaping regional development in Africa.
In a forthcoming paper in the American Economic Review, Michalopoulos shows that current ethnolinguistic diversity around the world has been shaped by geographic differences in elevation and land fertility. Geographically heterogeneous territories decreased mobility and thus resulted in more ethnically fractionalized populations.