Prof. Dr. Mattia Fochesato

Economist Mattia Fochesato is Assistant Professor in Quantitative Economic History/Cliometrics at the Faculty of Business and Economics.

Before joining the faculty in Basel, Prof. Mattia Fochesato worked as a postdoctoral associate in a research group led by economic historian Robert C. Allen at New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi. He takes up the Max Geldner Assistant Professorship in Quantitative Economic History/Cliometrics as of the fall term of 2018.

The Basel-based Max Geldner Foundation is providing CHF 825,000 in funding for the five-year assistant professorship, strengthening the field of economic history within the Faculty of Business and Economics. The foundation’s professorship allows the faculty to improve the staff-student ratio and promote early career researchers.

Fochesato studied economics at the University of Siena, obtaining his doctorate there in 2013. In 2012, he moved to Stanford University as a visiting scholar on an Earhart Foundation Fellowship, and spent 2014 and 2015 at the Institut d’études politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris on a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship. He has also been a regular visiting scholar at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico.

Fochesato’s areas of focus include classical economic history with concentrations in the early modern period and the differences between northern and southern Europe. He is also researching the factors that influence income and asset distribution in the long term.

Prof. Fochesato

Prof. Dr. Mattia Fochesato
Office 5.56 Faculty of Business and Economics
Quantitative Economic History / Cliometrics
Peter Merian-Weg 6 4002 Basel

Tel. +41 61 207 57 07

Publications in journals

  • 2018 (In Press), “Origins of Europe’s North-South Divide: Population Changes, Real Wages and the ‘Little Divergence’ in Early Modern Europe”, Explorations in Economic History
  • (with Timothy A. Kohler, Michael E. Smith, Amy Bogaard, et al.), 2017, “Greater Post-Neolithic Wealth Disparities in Eurasia than Americas”, Nature [link]

    [Media coverage: The Economist, The Washington Post, Science Magazine, NPR, Die Presse]

  • (with Samuel Bowles), 2015 "Nordic exceptionalism? Social democratic egalitarianism in world-historic perspective", Journal of Public Economics, 127, 30-44.

Working Papers

  • Fochesato, M., 2018, “Different local responses to the Black Death: A comparison of wages and prices across the Mediterranean cities in the late Middle Ages”
  • Fochesato, M. and Bowles, S., 2018. “Technology, Institutions and Wealth Inequality over Eleven Millennia.” SantaFe Institute Working Papers
  • Fochesato, M., Bogaard, A. and S. Bowles, S., 2018, “Comparing ancient inequalities: the challenge of comparability, bias, and precision.” Antiquity (Revise and resubmit)
  • Bogaard, A., Fochesato, M. and S. Bowles, S., 2018, “The farming-inequality nexus: new methods and evidence from western Eurasia.” Antiquity (Revise and resubmit)
  • Fochesato, M. and Bowles, S., 2018, “Institutional Shocks and the Dynamics of Wealth Distribution. Did the Abolition of the U.S. Slavery Reduce Wealth Inequality?” (provisional draft available on request)

Work in Progress

  • Politics and wealth distribution in the Renaissance Florence: A randomized natural experiment (with M. Belloc, F.Drago, and R. Galbiati)

Publications in collective volumes

(with A. Bogaard, A. Styring, J. Whitlam, and S. Bowles), 2017, “The agroecology of (in)equality: Integrating Gini coefficients with recent bioarchaeological work on early urbanization in northern Mesopotamia and south-west Germany” in T. A. Kohler and M.E. Smith (eds), Ten Thousand Years of Inequality: The Archaeology of Wealth Differences, Amerind Foundation, Tucson. [link]