Christian Dippel


Assistant Professor of Economics

Home Department: UCLA Anderson School of Management

Areas of Interest

Political economy; international trade; development economics; and economic history




Dippel’s research interests include political economy, international trade, development economics and economic history. His main research interests are the formation, persistence and change of organized interests and social divisions in society, their impact on policy choices and economic growth and the effect that international integration has on these equilibrium relations. Dippel is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the California Center for Population Research, and sits on the Research committee of the Economic History Association. His research has appeared – among other journals — in Econometrica and the Journal of Public Economics.

Selected Research

1. Primary Project: “Instrumental Variables and Causal Mechanisms: Unpacking the Effect of Trade on Workers and Voters” (with Robert Gold, Stephan Heblich, and Rodrigo Pinto) This paper develops new methodology in causal identification to answer a pressing question: how much the apparent effect of trad exposure political populism is explained by trade’s effect on labor markets. The answer, surprisingly, is considerably more than 100%. The effect of trade on voting consists of a large populist effect working through labor markets and a smaller “residual” effect that appears to be politically moderating, i.e. working in the opposite direction. This result suggests the labor market consequences of trade integration are even more salient for recent political shifts than we thought.

2. Secondary Project: “Outside Options, Coercion, and Wages: Removing the Sugar Coating” (with Avner Greif and Dan Trefler) Development economists going back as far as Arthur Lewis in the 1950s have argued that a primary channel through which firms in developing countries increase profits is by reducing workers’ outside options in the informal sector. we provide the first rigorous empirical evidence for this mechanism.

Selected Publications:

  1. “Foreign Aid and Voting in International Organizations: Evidence from the IWC” [ Paper ] (Updated July 2015) Forthcoming at Journal of Public Economics.
  2. “Forced Coexistence and Economic Development: Evidence from Native American Reservations” (Econometrica vol. 82 No. 6 Nov 2014. p.2131-2165).
  3. “Groseclose and Snyder in Finite Legislatures” (Journal of Theoretical Politics vol. 24 issue 2 April 2012. p. 265-273).