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. My current research focuses on two main themes:

  1. Nation-building and conflict.

    • ​I study how states shape national identity and influence the composition of political beliefs, through propaganda, education, and even forced migration, as well as the implications thereof for economic development.

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

  2. Political economy of beliefs.

    • ​A critical dimension of political culture and identity involves religion. Another ongoing research program, in economic history, examines the economic roots of religious participation in the United States, as well as the political and more broadly cultural implications thereof.

    • 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.


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

Patrick A.


Assistant Professor of Economics

Tulane University

 © 2021 Patrick A. Testa.