Oliver Harman

Oliver Harman is a is a Cities Economist for the International Growth Centre (IGC) based at the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford. He is working with Paul Collier, Ed Glaeser, Tony Venables, Astrid Haas, Priya Manwaring, Victoria Delbridge and Sebastian Kriticos on the IGC’s Cities that Work initiative, developing a network of economists, urban planning practitioners and policymakers to translate economic research into clear urban policy guidance.

Oliver holds an MSc in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics, and a BSc in International Business, Finance and Economics from the University of Manchester. Prior to joining the Cities that Work team Oliver was an Overseas Development Institute Fellow working for the Ministry of Communities in Guyana on local government, regional development, decentralisation and housing.


His current research areas include urban land use and planning, public infrastructure and service provision, housing markets, urban employment and firm development, and municipal finance.

Content by Oliver Harman
  • Blog post

    Should I stay or should I go? Managing populations with urban to rural migration incentives

    Sydney you’ve got to let me know, should they stay or should they go. In 2011, Sydney, the largest city in Australia, asked its residents, should they stay or should they go? Despite regularly rated as one of the world’s top ten liveable cities, the government was offering residents AUD$7,000 (£4,500 or ~one month’s average wage) to move to the country’s rural...

    22 Jul 2019 | Oliver Harman

  • Blog post

    Urban density and the promises of proximity

    As an economist, an end of year tradition is to muse over The Royal Society of Statistics, ‘Statistic of the Year’. In 2018, the singled out stat was: 90.5% - the proportion of plastic waste that has never been recycled. An important statistic, but an area in which the International Growth Centre’s (IGC) ‘Cities that Work’ initiative has limited...

    16 May 2019 | Oliver Harman