Stefan  Dercon

Stefan Dercon Researchers

Director (CSAE); Professor of Economic Policy (Economics/BSG)
Personal Website

Stefan Dercon is Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies, and a Professorial Fellow of Jesus College. He is also Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Economics Department. Between 2011 and 2017, he has been Chief Economist of the Department of International Development (DFID), the government department in charge with the UK’s aid policy and spending.

   “Academics are in an unique position to articulate and communicate not just
our own understanding
but the broader understanding of the research community,
and to actually make sure that it all makes a difference.”

Professor Stefan Dercon discusses his work at the CSAE and his role at the Department for International Development.

His research interests concern what keeps people and countries poor: the failures of markets, governments and politics, mainly in Africa, and how to change this. Current work focuses on the psychological challenges of poverty, the political economy of development, the challenges of industrialisation in Africa, and how to prepare for and finance responses to natural disasters and protracted humanitarian crises.  He is also closely involved in policy work on the big challenges in development in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. More details on his research and policy work on his personal website

Selected recent publications (more on

Dull Disasters? How Planning Ahead Will Make A Difference, (with Daniel Clarke) Oxford University Press, 2016.

“The impacts of industrial and entrepreneurial work on income and health: experimental evidence from Ethiopia”, 2017, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, in print. (with C.Blattman)

“Orphanhood and Self-esteem: an 18-year longitudinal study from an HIV affected area in Tanzania”, 2017, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 76(3): 225-230, (with J.De Weerdt and K.Beegle).

“Small price incentives increase women’s access to land titles Tanzania”, 2016, Journal of Development Economics, 123, pp.107-122 (with D.A. Ali, M.Collin, K.Deininger, J.Sandefur and A.Zeitlin)

“Live Aid Revisited: Long-term impacts of the 1984 Ethiopian famine on children”, 2014, Journal of the European Economic Association, 12(4): pp. 927-48  (with C. Porter)

"Agriculture in African Development: A Review of Theories and Strategies”, 2014, Annual Review of Resource Economics, Vol. 6, pp. 471-92. (with D.Gollin)

"Is Green Growth good for the Poor?", 2014, Bank Research Observer, 29:2, Pages 163–185.

”Offering rainfall insurance to informal insurance groups: Evidence from a field experiment in Ethiopia”, 2014, Journal of Development Economics, 106, pp 132-143. (with R.V.Hill, D.Clarke, I.Outes-Leon, A.Seyoum Taffesse)

 “School Meals as a Safety Net: An Evaluation of the Midday Meal Scheme in India” 2014, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 62(2), pp 275-306. (with A. Singh and A. Park)  

“Vulnerability to individual and aggregate poverty”, 2013, Social Choice and Welfare, 41 (4), pp. 721-740 (with C. Calvo).

“Income Risk, Coping Strategies and Safety Nets”, 2002, World Bank Research Observer, December. Vol. 17 (2), pp. 141-66.

“In Sickness and in Health: Risk-sharing within households in rural Ethiopia”, 2000, Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 108, No.4, August, pp.688-727 (with Pramila Krishnan).

More details on