Ruben Durante

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Social & Behavioural Sciences

I am ICREA Research Professor in the Department of Economics at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). I am also Affiliated Faculty of the Barcelona GSE and of the Institute of Political Economy and Governance, and Research Affiliate of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research. I hold master degrees from Sorbonne and Brown University and a Ph.D. from Brown University. Prior to joining UPF, I was post-doctoral fellow at Yale University, and assistant and then associate professor of economics at Sciences Po (Paris). My work has been published in some of the world's most renown reviews in economics including the Journal of Political Economy, the American Economic Review, the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, the Economic Journal, and the Journal of the European Economic Association. In 2018 I was awarded a five-year 1.5M€ starting grant from the European Research Council for a project on "Independence and Quality of Mass Media in the Internet Age".

Research interests

My fields of research are political economy, media economics, and economic development. My research focuses primarily on the functioning and impact of traditional and new media in both mature and consolidating democracies. Specifically, I examine various aspects of the multi-faceted relationship between media, voters, policy-makers and special interests, with particular regard to the ability of an independent press to keep both policy-makers and private interests accountable. Some of the questions tackled in my work include: i) the impact of entertainment television on viewers’ socio-political preferences, ii) the strategies used by policy-makers to minimize public scrutiny of their actions, iii) the impact of the Internet on political participation, iv) the influence of corporate interests on the policy-making process, v) the determinants of beliefs about fairness and preferences for redistribution, vi) the design of policies to alleviate inter-ethnic tensions in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Selected research activities

Publications (pre-ICREA)

  • R. Durante and E. Zhuravskaya, “Attack when the World is not Watching? U.S. Media and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”, Journal of Political Economy, 2018, vol. 126, n. 3, pp. 1085-1133.
  • F. Campante, R. Durante, and F. Sobbrio, “Politics 2.0: the Multifaceted Effect of Broadband Internet on Political Participation”, Journal of the European Economic Association, 2018, vol. 16, n. 4, pp. 1094–1136.


  • University of Chile Political Economy & Political Science Workshop (Santiago)
  • UK Political Economy Workshop (Bath)
  • 2018 Economics of Media and Communications Conference (Chicago)
  • 3rd Economics of Media Bias Conference (keynote address; Cologne)
  • Political Economy of Conflict and Development Workshop (Villars)

Invited Seminars

  • Bank of Italy;
  • Einaudi Institute for Economic and Finance;
  • Boston University;
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid;
  • Collegio Carlo Alberto;


  • 1st Lancaster PhD Summer School on Applied Microeconomics, lecture “Political Economy of Traditional and New Media”.