Skip to main content

People Professor Stefan Dercon

Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance


Professor of Economic Policy

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. Between 2011 and 2017, he was Chief Economist of the Department of International Development (DFID), the UK government department responsible for aid policy and spending.

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.