David Weil External Address: Brown University and NBER Papers The Global Spatial Distribution of Economic Activity: Nature, History, and the Role of Trade 14th Mar 2017 This paper studies the distribution of economic activity, as proxied by lights at night, across 250,000 grid cells of average area 560 square kilometers. Quarterly Journal of Economics (forthcoming) Blog Entries On the Spatial Distribution of Development. The Roles of Nature and History. 31st Jan 2017 What determines where people live? Why are some places so densely populated and some so empty? In daily life, we take this variation in density as a matter of course, but in many ways it can be quite puzzling.