Robert Wade
NationalityNew Zealand & British
Alma materUniversity of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, Sussex University
AwardsLeontief Prize, Best Book or Article in Political Economy, from American Political Science Association
Scientific career
FieldsEconomic growth, core-periphery structure of world economy, UK and US empire, economic inequality, development studies, international political economy, industrial policy, irrigation
InstitutionsLondon School of Economics, World Bank,
Institute of Development Studies, Brown University
Thesis (1971)

Robert Hunter Wade is a political economist and development scholar. He has been Professor of Global Political Economy at the Department of International Development, London School of Economics since 1999.[1]

Early life

He was born in Australia to New Zealand diplomat parents. He therefore attended numerous schools worldwide, living in British Ceylon at the age of 12.[2] He attended university in Dunedin (BA with major in economics, Otago University, 1962–64), Wellington (BA Hons, economics, Victoria University of Wellington, 1966), and Sussex University (MPhil 1968, DPhil in social anthropology, Sussex University, 1971, thesis on irrigation systems in India).


He has worked at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex. On leave from IDS, he worked at the World Bank; the Office of Technology Assessment (US Congress) 1988; Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson School) from 1989 to 1990; MIT (Sloan School and Political Science) from 1990 to 1991. He was professor of political economy at Brown University (Watson Institute and Political Science) from 1996 to 1999 before joining the LSE in 2001. He held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey 1992–1993, Russell Sage Foundation, New York 1997–1998, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin 2000–2001.[3] In 2011 he was the Sanjaya Lall visiting professor at Oxford University.

He also worked at the World Bank from 1984 to 1988. He has undertaken fieldwork in a range of countries including: Italy, India, Korea, Taiwan and Pitcairn Island and inside the World Bank.[3]

Key works

Robert Wade is author of many books and scholarly articles including:


In 2008, Wade received (jointly with José Antonio Ocampo) the Leontief Prize in recognition of his outstanding contribution to economic theory that addresses contemporary realities and supports just and sustainable societies. In 1992 he received the American Political Science Association's award of Best Book or Article in Political Economy. When younger he competed regularly in 10 km running races and long distance swims, and plays the classical guitar.[3]