Massimo Morelli


Professor of Political Science and Economics
Bocconi University
Director of Pericles unit

Curriculum Vitae


Short bio
Massimo Morelli has been elected Fellow of the Econometric Society – and Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory – mostly for his contributions to bargaining, political economy and economics of conflict, while his current work also deals with causes and consequences of populism and law and economics in general.
He obtained the Ph.D in economics from Harvard in 1996 and came back to Italy (Bocconi) in 2014, after having taught at multiple American universities including Columbia.
He has been an active member of the Council of the EEA and now chairing the Minorities in Economics (MinE) committee, with growing passion for all diversity and inclusion concerns.


Contact details
Office: Via Roentgen 1, 5-e2-12
Phone: +39 02 58365495
Email: massimo.morelli [at] unibocconi.it


Massimo Morelli, Profile Picture

Selected Publications

American Economic Review: From Weber to Kafka: Political Instability and Overproduction of Laws (with Gabriele Gratton, Luigi Guiso and Claudio Michelacci) - Econimate video

Optimal Checks and Balances under Policy Uncertainty - open access (with Gabriele Gratton)

American Journal of Political Science (2022): A Costly Commitment: Populism, Government Performance, and the Quality of Bureaucracy (with Luca Bellodi and Matia Vanoni)

Quarterly Journal of Political Science (2022): Third Party Intervention and Strategic Militarization (with Adam Meirowitz, Kris Ramsay and Francesco Squintani)

Quarterly Journal of Political Science (2022): A Theory of Power Wars (with Helios Herrera and Salvatore Nunnari)

Journal of Public Economics (2021): Bureaucrats under Populism (with Greg Sasso)

Political Analysis (2020): Measuring Discretion and Delegation in Legislative Texts: Methods and Application to US States (with Matia Vannoni, Elliott Ash)

Journal of Political Economy (2019): Dispute Resolution Institutions and Strategic Militarization (with Adam Meirowitz, Kris Ramsay and Francesco Squintani), Vol. 127(1), 378-418

Journal of Political Economy (2019): Redistributing Income under Proportional Representation: a Correction (with Margherita Negri), Vol. 127(1), 458-462

Economic Policy (2019): Global Crises and Populism: the Role of Eurozone Institutions (with Luigi Guiso, Helios Herrera and Tommaso Sonno)

American Journal of Political Science (2016): Turnout Across Democracies (with Helios Herrera and Salvatore Nunnari), Vol. 60(3), 607-24

Review of Economic Studies (2015): Mediation and Peace (with Johannes Horner and Francesco Squintani), Vol. 82, 1483-501

Quarterly Journal of Economics (2015): The Geography of Inter-State Resource Wars (with Francesco Caselli and Dominic Rohner) Vol 130-1, pp. 267-315

Journal of Political Economy (2015): Strategic Mass Killings (with Joan Esteban and Dominic Rohner), Vol. 123-5; International Geneva Award winner 2015

American Journal of Political Science (2008): Incumbents' Interests and Gender Quotas (with Francois Maniquet and Guillaume R. Fréchette) Vol. 52-4, 891-909

American Economic Review (2007): Political Bias and War (with Matthew O. Jackson), Vol. 97-4, 1353-73

American Economic Review (2006): Self-Enforcing Voting in International Organizations (with Giovanni Maggi), Vol. 96-4, 1137-58; also reprinted in Public International Law (November 2010), edited by Eric A. Posner, Elgar Publishing

Econometrica (2005): Behavioral Identification in Coalitional Bargaining: an Experimental Analysis of Demand Bargaining and Alternating Offers (with Guillaume Fréchette and John Kagel), Vol. 73-6, 1893-939

Review of Economic Studies (2004): Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems Vol. 71-3, 829-53

Review of Economic Studies (2001): Occupational Choice and Dynamic Incentives (with Maitreesh Ghatak and Tomas Sjostrom), Vol. 68-4, 781-810

American Political Science Review (1999): Demand Competition and Policy Compromise in Legislative Bargaining Vol. 93-4, 809-20


Working Papers

The Common Determinants of Legislative and Regulatory Complexity (with Dana Foarta)

Stay, Split or Strike: Theory and Evidence on Secessionist vs Centrist Conflict (with Joan Esteban, Sabine Flamand and Dominic Rohner)

Power Mismatch and Civil Conflict: An Empirical Investigation (with Laura Ogliari and Long Hong)

Corruption and Extremism (with Attila Gaspar, Tommaso Giommoni and Antonio Nicolo’)

More Laws, More Growth? Evidence from U.S. States (with Elliott Ash and Matia Vannoni)

Signalling Incentives and the Quality of Legislation: A Text and Network Analysis of the U.S. Congress (with Tommaso Giommoni and Daniele Paserman)

A Commitment Theory of Populism (with Antonio Nicolas and Paolo Roberti)

The Financial Drivers of Populism in Europe (with Luigi Guiso, Tommaso Sonno, and Helios Herrera)

Fighting Populism on Its Own Turf: Experimental Evidence (with Vincenzo Galasso, Tommaso Nannicini and Piero Stanig)