Ömer Özak is an Associate Professor at the Economics Department at Southern Methodist University and a Research Fellow at IZA. He holds a B.S. in economics (Summa Cum Laude) and an M.S. in mathematics (Summa Cum Laude) from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Brown University. His research explores the deep historical origins and long-run consequences of some of the most fundamental cultural, human and economic characteristics that are at the roots of contemporary comparative economic development across countries, regions and ethnic groups. In particular, he studies how the interaction of bio-geographical, cultural, institutional, and technological factors have determined the evolution of societies in the course of human history. This interdisciplinary research agenda lies at the intersection of comparative development, economic growth, political economy, cultural economics, and evolutionary economics, and it further contributes to the fields of cultural and human evolution, and cultural anthropology. His research has been published in top general interest and field journals in economics including The American Economic Review, The Journal of the European Economic Association, and the Journal of Economic Growth.