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.

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

In addition to his academic work, Sonin writes a column for VTimes and a blog on Russian political and economic issues. 

Selected Working Papers

The Political Economics of Non-democracy (with Georgy Egorov)

Political Economy of Crisis Response (with Arda Gitmez and Austin Wright)

A Continuous-Time Model of Financial Clearing (with Isaac Sonin)

A Political Model of Trust (with Marina Agranov and Ran Eilat)

How Does Kompromat Affect Politics? A Model of Transparency Regimes (with Monika Nalepa)

Information Operations Increase Civilian Security Cooperation (with Austin Wright)

Persuasion on Networks (with Georgy Egorov)

Rebel Capacity and Combat Tactics (with Austin Wright)

Forthcoming Papers

Poverty and Economic Dislocation Reduce Compliance with COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Protocols (with Austin Wright, Jesse Driscoll, and Jarnickae Wilson), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, forthcoming.

Institutional Change and Institutional Persistence (with Daron Acemoglu and Georgy Egorov), Handbook of Historical Economics (Bisin and Giovanni, eds.), forthcoming.

The Historical Perspective on the Trump Puzzle: A Review of Barry Eichengreen’s “The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era”, Journal of Economic Literature, forthcoming.

Elections in Non-Democracies (with Georgy Egorov), Economic Journal, forthcoming.

Media Freedom in the Shadow of a Coup (with Raphael Boleslavsky and Mehdi Shadmehr), Journal of European Economic Association, forthcoming.

Selected Publications

Social Mobility and Stability of Democracy: Re-evaluating de Tocqueville (with Daron Acemoglu and Georgy Egorov), Quarterly Journal of Economics, 133: 2, 1041–1105, May 2018.

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.

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.

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.