joined the London School of Economics in September 2013 as School Professor of Economic Geography, having previously been Eastman Professor of Political Economy at Brown University, USA. His research focuses on urbanisation in developing countries, looking both within and across cities and regions. He is the co-PI of a major research project on urbanisation in Africa, as well as globally, situated at LSE and Oxford. His current research looks at topics such as expressway development and city growth in China, the dynamics of investment in the built environment in cities, how colonial legacy affects sprawl and the spatial layout of cities, and the impact of democratisation in Africa on city growth and health and education outcomes across the urban political hierarchy.
His work is published in journals such as “the American Economic Review”, “Journal of Political Economy”, “Review of Economic Studies”, “Science”, and “Journal of Development Economics.” He is co-editor of the “Journal of Urban Economics” and the “Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics”, and serves on a number of editorial boards. He is a founder and past President of the Urban Economics Association. Over the years, he has worked with governments in Asia and Africa directly or indirectly through institutions such as the World Bank or the McKinsey Global Institute on formulating urban policies.