Professor Stefan Dercon

Professor of Economic Policy; Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies


Stefan Dercon is Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Economics Department, and a Fellow of Jesus College; he is also Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies.

His research interests concern what keeps some people and countries poor: the failures of markets, governments and politics, mainly in Africa, and how to achieve change. Current research work focuses on the psychological challenges of poverty, the political economy of development, the challenges of industrialisation in Africa, the challenges and opportunities of new technologies, and how to organise and finance responses to natural disasters and protracted humanitarian crises.

In 2018, the Queen awarded him as an honorary Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for services to economics and international development.


  • Economics, behavioural economics, economic development
  • International development, globalisation, industrialisation in developing countries
  • Aid, aid effectiveness, poverty reduction, global poverty
  • Natural disasters, insurance and disaster relief, humanitarian response
  • Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, low-income countries, Nigeria, Nepal, China in Africa
  • China’s presence in Africa
  • Refugees and migration
  • AI, automation in developing countries, digital technology in developing countries, future of work in developing countries

Media experience

Frequent contributor to international press (The Economist, Financial Times, New York Times, The Time, etc.); radio; and TV.


English; Dutch