About Me

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Economics and faculty affiliate of the Murphy Institute at Tulane University. I received my Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Irvine in 2019.

I am a political economist studying the interaction between culture and economic development. More specifically, my current research focuses on two main topics:

  1. Political economy of migration.

    • ​I study the economic, social, and political effects of migration, both at origin and at destination.

    • My recent paper published in The Economic Journal examines how Czechoslovakia's expulsion of 3 million Germans after World War II mattered for its subsequent economic development.​​​​​​

    • I also use data and theory to explore the economic and political determinants of migration.

    • In recent work, I consider the role of institutions such as property rights in driving migration and shaping spatial equilibria, such as following negative shocks to local economic activity.

  2. Identity and beliefs.

    • ​Another ongoing research program examines the determinants of political and religious identity and beliefs, such as natural resource availability, education, and institutions.

    • One working paper with Andreas Ferrara examines how religious communities emerged in oil-abundant areas of the U.S. South as a form of social insurance in the face of economic volatility.

    • I similarly study the economic and political implications of identity and beliefs, including of identity-based organizations (e.g. religious communities, nationalist and extremist groups).


As an instructor, I teach courses in advanced microeconomics, game theory, and the political economy of nondemocracy. In my free time, I enjoy making electronic music and spending time with my wife Amy, our daughter Camille, our cat Arthur, and our dog Cody.

 © 2021 Patrick A. Testa.