John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor

About Konstantin Sonin

Konstantin Sonin is John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. His research interests include political economics, development, and economic theory. His papers have been published in leading academic journals in economics and political science.

In addition to his academic work, Sonin writes a blog on Russian political and economic issues and a fortnightly column for the Russian-language newspaper Vedomosti, and contributed to all major Russian media. In 2012, he was an economic advisor to the presidential campaign of Mikhail Prokhorov.

Sonin earned an MSc and PhD in mathematics from Moscow State University and an MA in economics at Moscow’s New Economic School, was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, served on the faculty of the New Economic School (NES) and Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow, and was also a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

As an NES and then HSE vice-rector, Sonin was a founder of the HSE-NES joint undergraduate program, and oversaw HSE international recruitment effort in 15 disciplines. Now he is affiliated with HSE and Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics as a visiting professor and adviser.

Selected Working Papers

Social Mobility and Stability of Democracy: Re-evaluating de Tocqueville (with Daron Acemoglu and Georgy Egorov).

Incumbency Advantage in Nondemocracies (with Georgy Egorov).

Selected Publications

Social Media and Corruption (with Ruben Enikolopov and Maria Petrova), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, forthcoming.

Political Economy of Redistribution (with Daniel Diermeier and Georgy Egorov), Econometrica, 85(3), 851–870, May 2017.

Formal Models of Nondemocratic Politics (with Scott Gehlbach and Milan Svolik), Annual Review of Political Science, 19, 565-584, June 2016.

The Killing Game: A Theory of Nondemocratic Succession (with Georgy Egorov), Research in Economics (special issue on Political Economy), 69(3), 398-411, September 2015.

Field Experiment Estimate of Electoral Fraud in Russian Parliamentary Elections (with Ruben Enikolopov, Vassily Korovkin, Maria Petrova, and Alexei Zakharov), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110 (2), 448-452, January 2013.

A Political Theory of Populism (with Daron Acemoglu and Georgy Egorov),Quarterly Journal of Economics, 128 (2): 771-805, June 2013.

Dictators and Their Viziers: Endogenizing the Loyalty-Competence Trade-off (with Georgy Egorov), Journal of European Economic Association, 9 (5), 903–930, October 2011.

Why Resource-Poor Dictators Allow Freer Media: A Theory and Evidence from Panel Data (with Georgy Egorov and Sergei Guriev), American Political Science Review, 103 (4), 645-668, November 2009.

Coalition Formation in Non-Democracies (with Daron Acemoglu and Georgy Egorov), Review of Economic Studies, 75(4), 987-1009, December 2008.

Why the Rich May Favor Poor Protection of Property Rights, Journal of Comparative Economics (special issue on Appropriate Institutions), 31 (4), 715-731, October 2003.