Guido Alfani

I was born on 7 February 1976. I got my degree in Economics and Social Disciplines (DES) at Bocconi University.  Thereafter, I got a PhD in Economic and Social History.

Full Professor
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I am a full professor of Economic History at Bocconi University, Milan. My areas of interest include economic history and demography, with a focus on long-term dynamics, on economic inequality and social mobility, and on the history of epidemics and pandemics.

I am also an Affiliated Scholar of the Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality (New York, U.S.); a Research Fellow of CEPR - Center for Economic Policy and Research (London, U.K.) and a Research Associate of CAGE - Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (Warwick, U.K.). At Bocconi University, I am a member of the Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and of IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research). During 2013-2019 I have served as director of the Master of Science in Economic and Social Sciences at Bocconi.

I have also held visiting positions at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris, France); the University of Glasgow (U.K.), with a grant from the Royal Society of Edinburgh; the Centre for Population Studies of the University of Umeå (Sweden); the Université Bordeaux3 (France); the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure (U.K.), with a research grant from Wellcome Trust; the Centre Roland Mousnier (Paris, France); the Nuffield College at Oxford University (U.K.); the London School of Economics (U.K.); the Trinity College in Dublin (Ireland).


I am currently a member of the scientific committee of the Datini Foundation, of the international advisory board of the Posthumus Institute-Research School for Economic and Social History and of the board of trustees of the European Historical Economics Society (EHES). I am an associate editor of Genus and a member of the editorial board of Explorations in Economic History and of the European Review of Economic History. During 2009-2015 I have been the chief editor of the journal Popolazione e Storia.

In 2011, I was awarded an ERC Starting Research Grant for the project EINITE-Economic Inequality across Italy and Europe, 1300-1800 (project running from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2016) (

In 2016, I was awarded an ERC Consolidator Research Grant for the project SMITE-Social Mobility and Inequality across Italy and Europe, 1300-1800 (project running from 1 June 2017 to 31 May 2022) (

Research interests

Economic and social inequality; social mobility; poverty; distribution and concentration of wealth and income in Europe during the Middle Ages and the early modern period; historical demography (history of plagues and other epidemics; history of famines); economic trends in pre-industrial Italy; social alliance systems and social networks; practices of godparenthood and name-giving.

Selected Publications