Margaret McMillan

Margaret McMillan is an associate professor of economics at Tufts University and a Research Associate in the NBER’s program on International Trade and Investment. In 2009, she was appointed the Director of the Development Strategies and Governance Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute.

McMillan holds a Ph.D. in economics (with distinction) from Columbia University an MPA from Princeton University and B.A. in mathematics and economics (summa cum laude) from Boston University. Before coming to academia, she taught math in the Republic of Mali, managed a project for the World Bank in the United Republic of Tanzania and worked as a financial analyst at Lehman Brothers. McMillan’s research interests lie in the areas of international trade, investment and development.

McMillan is the recipient of numerous awards for her research. In 2005, she was named the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She is also a recipient of research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Center for Aids Research and the NBER Africa Project. She is currently the principal  investigator on a multi-million dollar project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council of the U.K. designed to enhance the understanding of economic growth and structural change in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her work has been featured in the New York Times and the NBER Digest and has been published in a wide range of leading economics journals.

Content by Margaret McMillan
  • Project

    Tanzania Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Map

    Despite evidence of the contribution of fast-growing micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to private sector growth and economic transformation, academic studies and policymakers have struggled to effectively identify and support these high-growth MSMEs. The reality is that much of our understanding of the MSME sector comes from information drawn from low- or...

    24 May 2019 | Margaret McMillan, Cynthia Kinnan

  • Project

    Financing the in-between sector: Designing and evaluating targeted SME lending in Tanzania

    Employment growth in Tanzania has been driven by small, often informal, manufacturing firms. Access to finance is one of the main obstacles these firms face. This project aims to help high-potential small firms to overcome this obstacle through targeted lending. As a result of the collaboration with the research team, the National Microfinance Bank (NMB) has...

    7 Sep 2017 | Margaret McMillan

  • Blog post

    Chinese investment in Africa

    Chinese investment in Africa, while less extensive than often assumed, has the potential to generate jobs and development on the continent So much has been written about China’s economic engagement in Africa that one is often left with the impression that the Chinese are playing a major role in the development of African economies – for better or worse. While hundreds...

    15 Aug 2017 | Margaret McMillan

  • Blog post

    Driving domestic investment: FDI use and source matter

    More targeted manufacturing FDI could reinforce and raise domestic investment levels in developing economies. FDI and the developing world Foreign direct investment (FDI) is widely viewed as an important source of external financing for developing countries. The Monterrey Consensus of 2002 formalised this view by making FDI one of the six pillars of development finance,...

    13 Mar 2017 | Alessia Amighini, Margaret McMillan, Marco Sanfilippo

  • Project

    SIDO impact evaluation - scoping study

    In 2015-16 an IGC-funded project led by Prof. Margeret McMillan, on the contribution of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the structural transformation of Tanzania found that MSMEs are contributing to structural transformation. However, it is only a small sub-set of all MSMEs which are contributing. This result highlights the importance of MSMEs to broader...

    9 Jan 2017 | Margaret McMillan, Joshua Chipman, Jed Silver

  • Publication - Project Report

    From the bottom up: Firm capabilities and the "in-between" sector in Tanzania

    27 Jul 2016 | Margaret McMillan, Hazel Gray

  • Project

    From the bottom up: Firm capabilities and the 'in-between' sector in Tanzania

    Recent employment growth and an increase in labour productivity in Tanzania has been driven by the non-farm MSME sector. By using newly released data, like the first MSME Survey conducted in Tanzania, this project found the bulk of productivity growth in the MSME sector can be attributed to a select few firms – the so-called ‘in-between’ sector. These...

    18 Nov 2015 | Margaret McMillan, Hazel Gray

  • Multimedia Item - Audio

    Growth Week 2014: Country Session - Tanzania

    6 Oct 2014