Simon Franklin

Simon is a Postdoctoral Research Economist at the London School of Economics, and a associate member at the Centre for the Study of African Economies.  He completed his doctorate at the University of Oxford, which focused on the workings on urban labour markets in developing countries. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of Cape Town, where he worked at the South African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU). He has conducted research on how poor housing conditions, and how living far away from jobs, can constrain labour supply and job search outcomes, in South African and Ethiopian cities. He is currently working on projects to look at ways to improve job search and employment matching in large urban labour markets, through experiments with firms and job seekers in Addis Ababa. Other work includes an evaluation of a large scale subsidized housing project in Addis Ababa. By exploiting a lottery system for assigning households to housing, locations and neighborhoods, he plans to study the ways in which neighborhoods influence social networks, risk sharing, and employment outcomes.

Content by Simon Franklin
  • Project

    Neighbourhoods of opportunity? Moving to public housing in Addis Ababa

    Governments all over the world use housing assistance programmes to improve the living standards of the poor. In Ethiopia, like many developing countries today, these programmes take the form of large-scale household estates built in new neighbourhoods by the government and then given away either at subsidised prices or for free. These programmes may directly improve the...

    15 Jul 2021 | Simon Franklin

  • Project

    Cost effective panel data collection

    Context and primary motivation for the study The urban literature on developing country cities is still growing. One of the major constraints, however, is access to good quality data. Existing data sources are often costly or difficult to get, frequently do not measure prices, are not individual specific, do not allow for tracking of individuals, and are available...

    24 Jan 2018 | Julia Bird, Gharad Bryan, Simon Franklin, Astrid Haas

  • Project

    Cost effective panel data collection for Kampala

    This Kampala based study will pilot methods for collecting low-cost, high-frequency panel survey data that improves on existing data sources in three ways. The data will provide information about prices (consumer prices, wages, and rents) at the individual and location level; The data will allow for the creation of commuting flows at the individual (or group)...

    9 Oct 2017 | Gharad Bryan, Simon Franklin, Julia Bird, Astrid Haas

  • Blog post

    World Habitat Day 2017

    To mark 2017’s World Habitat Day, the theme of which is Housing Policies: Affordable Homes, we asked researchers working on housing to provide their thoughts on the future of urban housing policy: Could you give an example of an interesting policy that could help to tackle some of the housing challenges faced in developing cities? Simon Franklin: large scale low cost...

    2 Oct 2017 | Simon Franklin, Paul Collier, Julia Bird, Michael Blake, Nina Harari, Mila Friere, Priya Manwaring

  • Project

    Neighbourhood effects and social capital in urban housing: Evidence from random neighbourhood assignment

    In Africa, the population living in cities is set to triple by 2050. Government policy will play a key role in planning urban environments, including providing affordable housing and public goods for people moving to new urban neighbourhoods. How can urban policies be designed to promote flourishing communities and efficient delivery of public services? How can policy...

    22 Aug 2016 | Berihu Assefa Gebrehiwot, Simon Franklin, Alebel Weldesilassie

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Curse of anonymity or tyranny of distance? (Working paper)

    18 Aug 2016 | Girum Abebe, Stefano Caria, Marcel Fafchamps, Paolo Falco, Simon Franklin, Simon Quinn

  • Blog post

    Curse of anonymity or tyranny of distance? The impacts of job-search support in urban Ethiopia

    Urban jobs are key drivers of economic growth in developing countries. Finding ways to connect and match young and skilled workers with better jobs remains a key policy challenge. In Ethiopia, experiments with training and transport subsidies show great promise. Unemployment is high among young people in Africa, especially in urban areas. While many young people come to...

    21 Jul 2016 | Simon Franklin, Stefano Caria

  • Blog post

    Urban experimentation: How housing, transport, and infrastructure projects are revolutionising Addis Ababa

    With increasing migration into African cities, the planning and design of emerging cities becomes increasingly important. Greater efforts to provide affordable housing, better transport links, and investments in infrastructure around Addis Ababa have shown tremendous promise in helping shaping the city into a more productive, inclusive, and liveable space for the new...

    8 Oct 2015 | Julia Bird, Simon Franklin

  • Project

    Low cost housing for Africa's cities? The impact of the Government Condominium Scheme in Ethiopia

    Cities in Africa face severe shortages of affordable formal housing. It is estimated that Ethiopia’s current housing deficit in urban areas is about a million units, and that only 30 percent of the current housing stock is in decent condition. Many of the capital city’s inhabitants live in sub-standard housing conditions without access to important urban services. In...

    8 Oct 2015 | Berihu Assefa Gebrehiwot, Simon Franklin, Alebel Weldesilassie

  • Project

    Assisting Job Search in Low-Employment Communities

    In Africa, where young people often struggle to find good jobs, the cost of searching for jobs and lack of information can prevent businesses from matching up successfully with young job-seekers. A randomised evaluation of two job-search programmes for young people in Addis Ababa aimed to address this problem. Findings suggest that young job-seekers who attend...

    5 Sep 2014 | Simon Quinn, Girum Abebe, Stefano Caria, Paolo Falco, Simon Franklin