CV - Job Market Paper  

Ellingsen, Sebastian

Contact Information

Tel. +34 93 542 2688

[email protected]


Personal Webpage


Available for interviews at

European Job Market for Economists (EEA)

Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA)




Research interests

Economic Geography, Political Economy and Applied Economics.

Placement Officer

Libertad González
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Maria Petrova (Advisor)
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Giacomo Ponzetto (Advisor)
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David Nagy
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"Free and Protected: Trade and Breaks in Long-Term Persistence” (Job Market Paper)
The spatial distribution of economic activity is largely influenced by events in the distant past and has proved remarkably resilient to large shocks. What breaks the persistence in the location of economic activity? This paper considers whether changes in trade costs can break spatial persistence using a staggered lifting of restrictions on direct trade with Europe across the Spanish Empire. I combine a difference-in-difference approach with a dynamic spatial equilibrium framework and detailed georeferenced data on maritime travel from historical logbooks to examine this issue. I find that the reform led to large reductions in international trade costs and increased market access. The lower international trade costs in turn promoted the formation of new settlements and population growth. Moreover, I show that the reform initiated a reversal of fortune by having larger effects in areas with initially low population density. I find that trade cost shocks can break spatial persistence, highlighting the role of trade in generating the reversal of fortune, which is typically attributed to differences in local institutions.

“Does High-Speed Internet Erode Democracy? Evidence from a Norwegian Broadband Reform” (with Øystein Hernæs and Øyvind Skorge)

To what extent the surge of high-speed internet has contributed to democratic erosion is contested. One the one hand, it may crowd out voters’ consumption of traditional media with higher and more unbiased knowledge about politics, which is expected to lessen turnout and polarize those who nonetheless vote. On the other hand, it may add to individuals’ existing news consumption and increase political knowledge, which is expected to increase turnout and leave polarization unaffected. To evaluate these competing hypotheses, we exploit a large-scale broadband reform that was rolled out in a staggered fashion across Norwegian municipalities during the 2000-2008 period. Our instrumental variable analysis reveals a positive effect of high-speed internet usage on the turnout rate in municipal elections and a small (and insignificant) negative effect on polarization in vote choice. We also show that the arrival of high-speed internet increased time online without replacing the consumption of newspapers, radio, and TV. Our analysis suggests that high-speed internet have more nuanced effects on electoral participation than what is commonly asserted.



"The Impact of Commercial Television on Turnout and Public Policy: Evidence from Norwegian Local Politics” (with Oystein Hernæs)

Journal of Public Economics, Vol 159, March 2018, Pages 1-15

We investigate the impact of commercial television on political participation and local policy outcomes. Exploiting a geographically staggered expansion of cable television after the liberalization of Norwegian broadcasting in 1981, we show that higher cable television penetration significantly reduced turnout in municipal elections. Using individuallevel data, we find that cable television coverage had a negative effect on the extent to which respondents were exposed to political information through mass media. The effect is more pronounced for individuals that on average watch more cable television; namely individuals with fewer years of schooling. Consistent with an increased difference in political participation and exposure to information between more and less educated groups, we find that commercial television led to reduced public spending and increased the share spent on education. The results are evidence that commercial mass media can influence electoral politics by reducing political participation and exposure to information of its target audiences.


Research Papers in Progress

“Trade, Income, and Factor-Based Models of Regime Change"

“Language Reform and Market Integration” (with Erqi Ge)

“Trade, Epidemics, and Growth in Spain”(with Gregori Galofré-Vilà)