Paul Collier

Professor of Economics and Public Policy

Sir Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and a Professorial Fellow of St Antony’s College. From 1998–2003 he took a five-year Public Service leave during which he was Director of the Research Development Department of the World Bank. He is currently a Professeur invité at Sciences Po and a Director of the International Growth Centre.

He has written for the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. His research covers the causes and consequences of civil war; the effects of aid and the problems of democracy in low-income and natural resources rich societies; urbanization in low-income countries; private investment in African infrastructure and changing organizational cultures.

Recent books include The Bottom Billion (Oxford University Press, 2007) which in 2008 won the Lionel Gelber, Arthur Ross and Corine prizes and in May 2009 was the joint winner of the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book prize; Wars, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places (Vintage Books, 2009); and The Plundered Planet: How to reconcile prosperity with nature (Oxford University Press, 2010).

His latest book is Exodus: How migration is changing our world (Oxford University Press, 2013).

In 2014, Paul received a knighthood for services to promoting research and policy change in Africa.

Research Projects


Zambia: Policies for Prosperity from Resource Wealth, edited with Chr. S. Adam and M. Gondwe. Oxford, Oxford University Press 2014.
Exodus: How Migration is Changing our World. London, Allen Lane 2013.
Plundered Nations? Successes and Failures in Natural Resource Extraction, with A. J. Venables. Palgrave Macmillan 2011.
Kenya: Economic Policies for Prosperity, edited with Chr. S. Adam and N. Ndungu. Oxford, Oxford University Press 2011.
The Plundered Planet: How to reconcile prosperity with nature. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010.
Conflict, Political Accountability and Aid. Routledge, 2010. 
Wars, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places. Harper Collins/Random House, 2009.
The Bottom Billion. Oxford, Oxford University Press 2008.
Economic Policy Options for a Prosperous Nigeria, edited with C. Soludo and C. Pattillo. Palgrave 2008.
Globalization and Poverty, 3 Vols. (The globalization of the World Economy, 19), with J. W. Gunning. Cheltenham UK/Northampton USA: Edward Elgar 2008.
The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960-2000, with B. Ndulu, R. Bates and S. O’Connell. Cambridge University Press, 2008.
Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy, with V. L. Elliott, H. Hegre, A. Hoeffler, M. Reynal-Querol, N. Sambanis. Washington DC: World Bank and Oxford University Press 2003.
Labour and Poverty in Rural Tanzania, with S. Radwan, and S. Wangwe, with A. Wagner. Oxford, Clarendon Press 1987.


Supervision and Project Performance: A Principal-Agent Approach, with L. Chauvet and A. Fuster. Document de travail (Working Paper).
Investing in Africa's Infrastructure: Financing and Policy Options, with J. Cust. Annual Review of Resource Economics, forthcoming 2015.
Security threats facing Africa and its capacity to respond. PRISM 5, 2: 30-41.
Closing Coal: Economic and Moral Incentives, with A. J. Venables. Oxford Review of Economic Policy 30,3 "Green Growth" (Autumn 2014): 492-512.

Votes and violence: Evidence from a field experiment in Nigeria, with P. Vicente. The Economic Journal 124, 574: F327–F355.
African Agriculture in 50 Years: Smallholders in a Rapidly Changing World, with S. Dercon. World Development 63: 92-101.
Scottish Oil and Global Justice. International Energy Law Review 4: 150-153.

Public capital in resource rich economies: Is there a curse? with S. Bhattacharyya, Oxford Economic Papers 66 (1).
The Economic Legacy of Civil War: Firm-level Evidence from Sierra Leone, with M. Duponchel Journal of Conflict Resolution, 57: 65-88.
Épargner les revenus tirés des ressources naturelles dans les pays en développement: Principes et règles de politiquesRevue d'économie du développement, 2013/4 Vol. 27.
Under Pressure: How governments can manage expectations when oil is discovered. Finance and Development 50,4: 50-53.

Commodity prices and growth: An empirical investigation, with B. Goderis. European Economic Review 56: 1241-1260.
Land Deals in Africa: Pioneers and Speculators, with A.J. Venables. Globalization and Development 3,1: 1-20. 

Paradise Lost: Failing States in the Pacific, with L. Chauvet and A. Hoeffler. Journal of Development Studies 46,5: 961-980.
Illusory revenues: Import tariffs in resource-rich and aid-rich economies, with A.J. Venables. Journal of Development Economics 94,2: 202-204.
International Rules for Trade in Natural Resources, with A.J. Venables. Globalization and Development 1, 1.
Managing Resource Revenues in Developing Countries, with R. van der Ploeg, M. Spence, and A. J. Venables. IMF Staff Papers 57,1: 84-118.
Testing the neocon agenda: Democracy in resource-rich societies, with A. Hoeffler. European Economic Review 53, 3: 293-308.
Elections and Economic Policy in Developing Countries, with L. Chauvet. Economic Policy 24, 59: 509-550.
Does Aid Mitigate Commodity Shocks? with B. Goderis. Review of Development Economics 13,3: 429–451.
Beyond Greed and Grievance: Feasibility and Civil War, with A. Hoeffler and D. Rohner. Oxford Economic Papers 61,1: 1-27.
Structural Policies for Shock-Prone Commodity Exporters, with B. Goderis. Oxford Economic Papers, suppl. Symposium on Resource Rich Economies 61,4: 703-726. 
The Political Economy of State Failure, Oxford Review of Economic Policy 25, 2: 219-240.
Post-Conflict Recovery: How should strategies be distinctive? Journal of African Economies 18 (suppl. 1): 99-131.
Democracy, Development, and Conflict, with D. Rohner. Journal of the European Economic Association 6, 2-3: 531-540.
Post-Conflict Risks, with A. Hoeffler and M. Soderbom. Journal of Peace Research 45,4: 461-478.
What are the Preconditions for Turnarounds in Failing States? with L. Chauvet. Journal of Conflict Management and Peace Science 25,4: 332-348.
Climate change and Africa, with D. Conway and A.J. Venables. Oxford Review of Economic Policy 24, 2: 337-353. 
Poverty reduction in Africa, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104,43: 16763-16768.
Post-Conflict Monetary Reconstruction, with Chr. Adam and V. Davies. World Bank Economic Review 22,1: 87-112.
International Political Economy: Some African Applications. Journal of African Economies 17 (suppl. 1): 110-139.
The Food Crisis: The Politics of Hunger, Foreign Affairs November/December.
Unintended Consequences: Does Aid Promote Arms Races? with A. Hoeffler. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 69,1: 1-27. 
Rethinking Trade Preferences: How Africa can diversify its exports, with A.J. Venables. The World Economy 30,8: 1326-1345.
Prospects for Commodity Exporters, with B. Goderis. World Economics 8,2: 1-15.
African Growth: Why a 'Big Push'?, Journal of African Economies 15 (suppl. 2): 188-211.
Why the WTO is Deadlocked and What Can be Done About it, The World Economy 29,10: 1423-1449.

Book Chapters

Housing and Urbanization in Africa, with T. Venables. In J. Hannigan and G. Richards (eds), Handbook of New Urban Studies. Sage, in press.
Housing and Urbanization in Africa: Unleashing a Formal Market Process, with A.J. Venables. In E. Glaeser and A. Joshi-Ghani (eds), The Urban Imperative: Towards Competitive Cities. India, Oxford University Press 2015.
Zambian Macroeconomic Policy: a Time for Tough Decisions. In Chr. S. Adam, P. Collier, and M. Gondwe (eds), Zambia: Policies for Prosperity from Resource Wealth. Oxford, Oxford University Press 2014.
Strategies for Growth, with N. Ndungu. In Chr. S Adam, P. Collier and N. Ndungu (eds), Kenya: Economic Policies for Prosperity. Oxford, Oxford University Press 2011.
Democracy and Prosperity, with R. Gutierrez-Romero and M. Kimenyi. In Chr. S. Adam, P. Collier and N. Ndungu (eds), Kenya: Economic Policies for Prosperity, Oxford, Oxford University Press 2011.
Trade and Economic Performance: Does Economic Fragmentation Matter? with A.J. Venables. In Lin and Plescovik (eds), Annual World Bank Conference of Development Economics. World Bank, 2008.
Civil War, in Hartley and Sandler, (eds.) Handbook of Defense Economics, North Holland, 2007.
Using Aid Instruments More Coherently: Grants and Loans. In I. Kaul and P. Conceicao (eds), The New Public Finance. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006.

Professor Collier's PA:; +44 1865 614361.

Other affiliations:

Director of the IGC

Professor Collier's piece on migration crisis
Prospect - Thursday, 12 November, 2015
Professor Collier presented a paper in Kampala on policies to improve the city
All Africa - Wednesday, 11 November, 2015
Prof Collier sits in a panel of experts to talk about migration
BBC Radio 4 - PM programme - Tuesday, 6 October, 2015
Prof Collier comments in an article about how China's slow growth can have an impact on Africa
Financial Times - Monday, 5 October, 2015
"Economist Paul Collier: Cameron looks better than Merkel" - interview with Prof Collier
Elsevier (Netherlands) - Sunday, 27 September, 2015
Prof Collier speaks about migration
BBC 2 - Tuesday, 22 September, 2015
Prof Collier speaks about migration
BBC Radio 4 - Tuesday, 22 September, 2015
Prof Collier's blog about an "integrated approach to displacement and post-conflict recovery"
JOBS (World Bank) - Wednesday, 9 September, 2015
Prof Collier's new opinion piece on the migrant crisis currently affecting Europe
The Spectator - Wednesday, 2 September, 2015
Professor Sir Paul Collier's research mentioned in an article about fossil fuels
The Australian - Saturday, 15 August, 2015