Stephen L. Parente is an associate professor of economics at the University of Illinois.   Professor Parente earned his B.A. in mathematics from the College of the Holy Cross in 1984 and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota in 1990.   Since receiving his Ph.D., he has taught at Georgetown University, Northeastern University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Illinois. He is an affiliate of the Center for North and South Research (CRENoS) located at the University of Cagliari, as well as the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Group based at the University of Chicago.   He has served as an assistant editor for Economic Theory and is a member of the Society for Economic Dynamics.

Dr. Parente’s research primarily seeks to understand why some countries are so much richer than others.  While most of his research fits squarely in the field of development and growth, some overlaps with the fields of international trade and political economy.  He has written over 20 articles on this subject, many of which have appeared in the top professional journals such as The American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, and Journal of Economic Theory. He has also coauthored a book on this subject with Nobel Laureate Edward C. Prescott titled The Barriers to Riches, which has been translated into French, Italian and Chinese. His work is heavily cited both within academic and non-academic circles. He is listed as being in the top 5 percent of authors among 18 categories on RePEc, including distinct works weighted by impact, number of citations, and average rank score. His work has been discussed in newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal and The London Financial Times, and by government officials such as Singapore’s Minister of Manpower in policy speeches.