Javier Mejia is an economist whose work focuses on the intersection between social networks and economic history. His interests extend to topics on entrepreneurship and political economy with a geographical specialty in Latin America and the Middle East. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from Los Andes University. He has been a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer at New York University--Abu Dhabi and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Bordeaux.
Most of Javier’s research explores how social interactions have shaped the economy in the long term. He brings together theoretical and empirical methods from economics and conceptual tools from anthropology to the study of history. This has led him to explore an extensive set of historical objects. He has studied entrepreneurs in Colombia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, industrial elites in Morocco in the late 20th century, tribal societies in North Africa in the 19th century, early Muslim communities in the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula between the 7th and 9th centuries, and political elites in Colombia and the US in the early 19th century.
Javier has teaching experience in multicultural environments, having taught at universities in Latin America, the United States, and the Middle East. He has taught courses on economic growth, economic history, and economic theory. At Stanford, he offers two courses that jointly provide an overview of economic evolution from a global-history and moral-philosophy perspective. On the one hand, Wealth of Nations studies the origins of economic development, the moral dilemmas underneath the development process, and the path that led to the configuration of the modern global economy. On the other hand, Societal Collapse studies the causes of economic decline, the social and political consequences of that decline, and the path that led to the disappearance of some of the most prosperous societies in human history.
Javier is a regular contributor to different news outlets. Currently, he is a Forbes Magazine op-ed columnist.
Ph.D., Los Andes University, Economics (2018)
M.A., Los Andes University, Economics (2016)
B.A., Universidad de Antioquia, Economics (2012)
Josiah Ober, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor