Economics of Development

Research on the economics of development has been a long-standing strength of the department. Characterised by an emphasis on the testing of analytical models on primary empirical data, research on this theme engages with the full spectrum of development economics.

The main areas of research include land and labour markets; the microeconomics of firm- and household-level behaviour and productivity; agriculture, urbanisation, structural transformation and growth; technology and innovation; and trade, macroeconomic policy, public investment and debt.

The research groups working on this theme are the International Growth Centre (IGC), jointly with the Department of Economics and the London School of Economics; and the Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD). Our researchers are key members of the Centre for the Study of African Economies, which straddles ODID, the Department of Economics and the Blavatnik School of Government.


Fieldwork photo by Jean-Benoit Falisse, DPhil in International Development

In the media
Many heads are different from one: neural basis of group vs individual decisions
The blind leading the blind: social interactions in financial decision-making
Are high performers more cooperative?
Social identity, affective forecast, and psychological hedging
The political economy of private sector dynamism in the Middle East
Health policy and reform in sub-Saharan Africa
Informal economy and piracy in China and Brazil
Giants who bite their chains?
University-firm technology transfer in Chile: panel data and case study analysis


Douglas Gollin
Professor of Development Economics
Humaira Hansrod
Research Student
Jamelia Harris
Research Student
Barbara Harriss-White
Professor Emeritus of Development Studies
Sead-Aldin Kacarevic
Research Assistant, the Readymade Garment Productivity Project
Pramila Krishnan
Professor of Development Economics
Du Liu
Research Officer, TMCD
Adeel Malik
Globe Fellow in the Economies of Muslim Societies and Associate Professor
Shraddha Mandi
Research and Programme Asssistant


04 Mar, 2021
New book by Xiaolan Fu investigates nature and sources of innovation in Africa
30 Jan, 2021
New article co-authored by Douglas Gollin explores differences in productivity across farms in Africa
26 Nov, 2020
New article co-authored by Cheryl Doss sets out framework to understand women's land tenure security
19 Nov, 2020
FT selects new book by Diego Sánchez-Ancochea among best economics books of 2020
09 Nov, 2020
New article co-authored by Xiaolan Fu develops new framework for measuring global trade
05 Sep, 2020
New article co-authored by Christopher Adam explores possible lockdown recovery paths in Africa
20 Aug, 2020
New article co-authored by Cheryl Doss examines gender, lockdown and food security
24 Jul, 2020
UN launches new online technology platform to support SDGs
08 Jul, 2020
New article co-authored by Xiaolan Fu investigates impact of industrial robot adoption
28 May, 2020
Douglas Gollin to co-lead new DFID-funded initiative for research to underpin development policy in low- and middle-income countries


19 Jun, 2020
'Lives or livelihoods? Global estimates of the mortality and poverty costs of COVID-19'. In a blog for the World Bank, Olivier Sterck and colleagues set out a way in which the health and economic costs of the pandemic can be expressed through a common unit
25 May, 2020
'Labour market effects of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa: An informality lens from Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal'. Elvis Avenyo and colleagues present survey evidence on labour market effects of pandemic in Senegal, Mali, and Burkina Faso in new working paper for UNU MERIT
22 May, 2020
'Global value chains, innovation and international trade'. Xiaolan Fu discusses the short-term disruptions and likely long-term transformations caused by COVID-19 in a podcast for the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum
04 May, 2020
'COVID-19 and the future of microfinance: Evidence and insights from Pakistan'. New article co-authored by Muhammad Meki examines the impact of the pandemic on local microfinance institutions in Pakistan, offering insights for policy reform
01 May, 2020
'Buyer responsibility and the growing crisis in Bangladesh'. Chris Woodruff looks at the impact of COVID-19 on the Bangladesh garment industry and suggests decisions by foreign buyers on whether to honour commitments to previously agreed orders will play a crucial role
02 Apr, 2020
'All’s quiet on the digital front'. Former DPhil student Dr Ilan Manor and Professor Cornelou Bjola authored a blog post examining how the COVID19 pandemic may reshape nations' images
31 Mar, 2020
'Digital diplomacy in the time of the coronavirus pandemic'. Corneliu Bjola co-authored a post with former DPhil student Ilan Manor analysing how effectively ministries of foreign affairs are using social media during the pandemic
20 Mar, 2020
'Italy’s fight against Covid-19 depends on continued solidarity'. ODID Alumna Dr Luisa Enria wrote for Open Democracy on the importance of maintaining solidarity in fighting the coronavirus pandemic in Italy
03 Mar, 2020
'The division of global value chains has been changing'. Xiaolan Fu interviewed by Xinhua Net on the likely impact of the coronavirus epidemic on the Chinese economy
28 Jan, 2020
'Cronies Everywhere'. Kemal Dervis reviews Adeel Malik's book Crony Capitalism in the Middle East for Project Syndicate