UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)

Dr Luca J. Uberti

Dr Luca J. Uberti

Alexander Nash Fellowship



Joined UCL
1st Sep 2018

Research summary

Main fields of interest: Political economy, Applied economics 
Other fields of interest: Growth and development, Post-socialist transition 

Specific research topics: Corruption, Property rights, Institutions and culture, Political business cycles, Balkan economies 


I am a political economist with an interest in the complex interplay between institutions and economic performance: which institutions promote economic growth and how structural conditions limit the range of feasible institutions. I am particularly interested in dynamics of economic and political change in low-middle income post-socialist economies, where the problem of "transition" is closely linked with the problem of "development". 

One strand of my research looks at the role of informal institutions (including corruption), rents and industrial policy as drivers of comparative economic performance, both at the micro and macro level. I have done extensive fieldwork research in the mining, garment and wine industries in Albania and Kosovo. I have also provided policy advice to USAID, Kosovo's Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre in Bergen (Norway). I am also interested in the developmental role of regional-bilateral trade agreements in the Balkan region and I am an Associate Member of the LSEE-CEFTA research network at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

A parallel strand of my work investigates the origins and drivers of institutions and cultural norms. In a recent paper, for instance, I estimated empirically the relative influence of short- and long-run determinants of corruption in transition economies, focusing specifically on Ottoman and socialist legacies. In other papers, I have studied "non-conventional" political business cycles driven by corruption, and the role of aid agencies in fighting electoral malpractice in developing and transition countries. 


If you are looking for the data and replication files of one of my papers, please visit my personal website: https://lucajacopouberti.wixsite.com/mysite

Teaching summary

SEES0095 Advanced Quantitative Methods (MA)

Office Hours: Wednesday 3-4 pm, Room 420


I joined the UCL Centre for Comparative Studies of Emerging Economies at SSEES as Alexander Nash Fellow in Albanian Studies in September 2018, after a one-year post-doc at the University of Oslo (Norway). I have a BSc and MSc degree from King's College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science, respectively, and I completed my PhD at the University of Otago (New Zealand) in 2017. At SSEES, I also coordinate the South-East European Studies seminar series. I have lived in Albania and Kosovo for a total of five years and I am fluent in the Albanian language.