A new interdisciplinary research group in economic history and comparative development at the University of Manchester.

1st October 1979: The Nobel Prize winner for Economic Science, Sir Arthur Lewis. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
1st October 1979: The Nobel Prize winner for Economic Science, Sir Arthur Lewis. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

The Lewis Lab seeks to advance cutting-edge research on economic growth, political economy of development, and global inequalities from a long-run historical perspective.

Our aim is to become a leading centre for the study of important questions in these fields, building on the legacy of our association with Sir W. Arthur Lewis, Nobel laureate in Economics, faculty member of the Department of Economics at The University of Manchester between 1947 and 1957.

The founding members of the lab, Nuno Palma and Guillaume Blanc, currently serve as Director and Deputy Director, respectively.

Our people


  • Nuno Palma - Director, Arthur Lewis Lab and Professor of Economics
  • Guillaume Blanc - Deputy Director, Arthur Lewis Lab and Lecturer in Economics

Scientific council

Faculty members

External members

Hallsworth Visiting Professors

Students and postgraduate researchers



  • Hélder Carvalhal - Marie Curie Fellow, International Institute of Social History, KNAW, Amsterdam
  • Meng Wu - British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (2021-2024). Placement: Assistant Professor, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Carlos Javier Charotti - PhD student (2019-2023). Placement: Senior Researcher in the Research Department of the Central Bank of Paraguay.

Events and working paper series


Fall 2023

  • Alan Fernihough (QUB) - October 5
  • Felix Kersting (Humboldt) - October 19
  • Romain Wacziarg (UCLA) - October 24 (MES)
  • Pablo Fernández Cebrián (Wageningen) - October 26
  • David Chilosi (KCL) - November 9
  • Raphael Franck (Hebrew University) - November 16
  • Phil Roessner (Manchester) - November 23
  • Debin Ma (Oxford) - December 7
  • Guilherme Lambais (ICS) - December 14

Spring 2024

  • Patrick Wallis (LSE) - January 25 
  • Timur Natkhov (HSE) - February 1
  • Neil Cummins (LSE) - February 8
  • Adrien Montalbo (Sussex) - February 15
  • Nadia Matringe (LSE) - February 22
  • Bishnupriya Gupta (Warwick) - March 7
  • Mohamed Saleh (LSE) - March 14
  • Eric Melander (Birmingham) - April 11
  • Lars Boerner (MLU Halle-Wittenberg) - April 18
  • François Velde (Chicago FED) - May 2
  • Mattia Bertazzini (Notthingham) - May 16
  • Pete Maw (Leeds) - May 23
  • Leticia Arroyo Abad (CUNY) - May 30
  • Peter Murrell (Maryland) - June 13


  • Lewis Lab Seminars 2022-2023: Brian Varian (Newcastle); Richard von Glahn (UCLA); Luz Marina Arias (Sheffield); Catherine Casson (Manchester); John Wallis (Maryland); Sean Bottomley (Northumbria); Thilo Huning (York); James Robinson (Chicago); Edmond Smith (Manchester); David N. Weil (Brown); André Silva (Nova SBE); Melanie Xue (LSE); Soeren Henn (Newcastle); Eric Chaney (Oxford); Xiaobing Wang (Manchester)
  • Job Market Seminars 2022-2023: Jordi Caum Julio (Barcelona); Gianni Marciante (Warwick); Daniela Sola (CEMFI); Peiyuan Li (Colorado Boulder)

The Hajnal Lecture

The Hajnal Lecture

The Hajnal Lecture, held at the Arthur Lewis Lab for Comparative Development at the University of Manchester, celebrates the exceptional work of early- and mid-career scholars who have made significant contributions to the field of economic history. A written version of the lecture will be published in The Manchester School, a renowned journal known for its high-quality research in all fields of economics. This initiative honours the significant contributions of John Hajnal to historical demography and his influential period as a Simon Fellow at our university during the 1950s.

Present and future



  • The Hajnal Lecture 2024 - Prof. Noam Yuchtman (Oxford)

The inaugural lecture, titled "Protests on Campus: The Political Economy of Universities and Social Movements," was delivered on Thursday, May 9, 2024, by Noam Yuchtman, the Drummond Professor of Political Economy at the University of Oxford and All Souls College. Professor Yuchtman's research covers a broad spectrum of topics in political economy and economic history, including the drivers of political ideology and participation in political movements, the impact of educational content in the process of development, the effects of social interactions on economic and political behavior, and the role of the state in promoting economic growth and innovation.

Public lectures and conferences

Present and future

Keynote speakers: Gary Cox (Stanford), Christine Desan (Harvard Law School), Nuno Garoupa (GMU), Peter Murrell (Maryland) 


Keynote speakers: Marlous van Waijenburg (Harvard), Leonard Wantchekon (Princeton), Jacob Weisdorf (Sapienza)

Speaker: Deirdre N. McCloskey (Cato Institute and UIC)

Keynote speakers: Michela Giorcelli (UCLA) and John Van Reenen (LSE and MIT)

Keynote speakers: James A. Robinson (Chicago) and Walter Scheidel (Stanford)

Keynote speakers: Stephen Broadberry (Oxford) and Richard von Glahn (UCLA)

Graduate student workshops

Present and future

Student participants: Bakhtawar Ali (Aix-Marseille), Mohib Ali (Siena), Monir Bounadi (IIES), Alice Calder (UNSW), Davide Coluccia (Northwestern), Tommaso D'Amelio (ECARES), Nina Liu (KCL), Ryu Matsuura (Northwestern), Matthias Weigand (Harvard)

Faculty participants: Guillaume Blanc (Manchester), Mathias Bühler (LMU), Bjorn Brey (Oxford), Neil Cummins (LSE), Joanne Haddad (ECARES), Sultan Mehmood (NES), Agustina Paglayan (UCSD), Nuno Palma (Manchester), Henrik Sigstad (BI)


Faculty participants: Lydia Assouad (LSE), Guillaume Blanc (Manchester), Dan Bogart (UC Irvine), James Fenske (Warwick), Soeren Henn (Newcastle), Yuzuru Kumon (NHH), Sebastian Ottinger (CERGE-EI), Nuno Palma (Manchester), James Robinson (Chicago)

Student participants: Joseph Enguehard (ENS Lyon), Adrian Nicholas Gachet (Manchester), Guilherme Berse Rodrigues Lambais (ICS), Jade Ponsard (Aix-Marseille), Carla Salvo (Sapienza), Miriam Venturini (Zurich), Hillary Vipond (LSE), Jinlin Wei (Warwick), Guillermo Woo-Mora (PSE)

Working papers

The Arthur Lewis Lab for Comparative Development logo

Visit our YouTube channel to access recordings of our past events, and follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our mailing list and calendar (ical) to keep up to date with our activities.