Stefan Dercon

Department of International Development
3 Mansfield Road

Professor of Development Economics

Stefan Dercon is a development economist applying microeconomics and statistics to problems of development.

His interests are diverse, including research on risk and poverty, the foundations of growth in poor societies, agriculture and rural institutions, migration, political economy, childhood poverty, social and geographic mobility, micro-insurance, and measurement issues related to poverty and vulnerability.

Much of his work involves the collection and analysis of longitudinal data sets, and he is closely involved in seven ongoing longitudinal surveys focusing on rural households in Ethiopia (ERHS), Tanzania (KHDS), and India (new ICRISAT VLS), and on children in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam (Young Lives).  He is also involved in a number of intervention-based (RCT) research projects on extending health insurance (Kenya), raising aspirations (rural Ethiopia), offering drought insurance to funeral societies (Ethiopia) and the returns to firm jobs (Ethiopia). Much of his research is taking place in Ethiopia as part of the International Growth Centre as the lead academic for its work in that country.

He has worked as an advisor to the Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank, the World Food Programme (WFP) and various national governments. He is an associate editor of Oxford Economic Papers, Economic Development and Cultural Change and the World Bank Economic Review. Previously, he worked at the Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford, and taught at the University of Addis Ababa, the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, WIDER/UNU in Helsinki and Jesus College, Oxford.

Since January 2012, Stefan has been on leave from the University of Oxford to take up the position of Chief Economist at the UK Department for International Development (DFID).


Recent Relevant Publications: 

Dercon, S. (2013), Agriculture and development: revisiting the policy narratives. Agricultural Economics. doi: 10.1111/agec.12062

"Growth and Chronic Poverty: Evidence from Rural Communities in Ethiopia," 2012 (with John Hoddinott and Tassew Woldehanna) The Journal of Development Studies, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 238-253, February.

"Political Connections and Social Networks in Targeted Transfer Programs: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," 2012 (with Bet Caeyers) Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(4), pages 639 - 675.

"Triggers and Characteristics of the 2007 Kenyan Electoral Violence," 2012 (with Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero) World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 731-744.

"Undernutrition and Psychosocial Competencies: Evidence from Four Countries," 2012 (with Alan Sánchez) CEPR Discussion Papers 9032, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

"School Meals as a Safety Net: An Evaluation of the Midday Meal Scheme in India," 2012 (with Albert Park and Abhijeet Singh) CEPR Discussion Papers 9031, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

"Aid And Agency In Africa Explaining Food Disbursements Across Ethiopian Households, 1994-2004," 2012 (with Nzinga H. Broussard and Rohini Somanathan) Working papers 208, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.

"Nonlinear dynamics of livestock assets: Evidence from Ethiopia," 2012 (with Bjorn Van Campenhout) IFPRI discussion papers 1215, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

"Is green growth good for the poor ?," 2012, Policy Research Working Paper Series 6231, The World Bank.