Development economics

Read more about our research in development economics

Three development economists formerly employed by the Department of Economics at The University of Manchester could unambiguously be described as founders of the discipline, namely: W. Arthur Lewis, Hans Singer and Kurt Mandelbaum (aka Kurt Martin). Other eminent economists from Manchester, such as Sir John Hicks, Harry Johnson and Alan Prest, also made significant contributions in the field that we know of today as development economics, and H W Arndt, the most famous historian of the idea of economic development, was here too. See Leeson and Nixson (2004) for a more detailed history.


Research within the economics department embraces a wide range of development topics. Members of staff have published and supervised research students in the following areas:

  • growth, distribution and poverty;
  • trade/industrial policy and development;
  • economics of transnational corporations;
  • indigenous technological capabilities in LDCs;
  • fiscal and monetary policy in LDCs;
  • transitional economies;
  • privatisation and development;
  • foreign aid (allocation and effectiveness)
  • analysis of the labour market in China;
  • poverty and vulnerability (theoretical and empirical);
  • multi-dimensional poverty, nutrition, and poverty dynamics;
  • impact evaluations of poverty alleviation policies/microfinance;
  • information asymmetries in LDC contexts;
  • intra-household resource allocation;
  • corruption;
  • conflict.

Members of the department have particular expertise in the economies of China, India, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa and the transitional economies of Asia.

There are a large number of development economists at Manchester who are associated with other schools and institutes within the University. In particular, members of the department work alongside other development economists from the Global Development Institute (GDI).


  • Guillaume Blanc - economic history, growth and development, political economy, cultural economics.
  • Caitlin Brown - applied microeconomics, poverty, inequality, gender, health, nutrition, programme evaluation and targeting.
  • Abhishek Chakravarty - gender inequality, policy evaluation, and intra-household resource allocation in developing countries.
  • Indranil Dutta - quantitative development economics and applied welfare economics, well-being, deprivation and distribution.
  • Katsushi Imai - nutrition and health in Asia, microeconometrics, panel data.
  • Alessia Isopi - development economics, asymmetries in information, experimental economics.
  • Sonya Krutikova - education, labour economics, development economics.
  • Nuno Palma - economic history, growth and development, monetary economics.
  • Xiaobing Wang - growth and development, the economics of China, labour economics.
  • Nick Weaver - applied development economics, political economy.

Development economics working papers

Members of the economics department regularly publish current research in the Manchester Economics Discussion Paper Series and the Global Development Institute Working Paper Series.

Joint development seminar

There are workshop programmes in development economics and policy (run jointly with the Global Development Institute) where members of staff, PhD students and invited academics present their research.

Applied seminar

Regular presentations by development economists from other institutions take place in our weekly applied seminar series.