Wealth and Poverty of African states

Lecture | April 11 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 223 Moses Hall

 Morten Jerven, Chair of Africa and International Development, Edinburgh University

 Center for African Studies

Professor Jerven will speak on the topic, Wealth and Poverty of African states - from his forthcoming book on material change (growth, taxes, wages) in African states in the 20th century.

Morten Jerven has a PhD in Economic History from London School of Economics and is the author of Poor Numbers: How we are misled by African development statistics and what to do about it (Cornell, 2013) and Africa: Why Economists Got it Wrong (Zed Books, 2015). His current work, The Wealth and Poverty of African States. Economic growth, living standards and taxation in Africa since the 19th Century, is under contract with Cambridge University Press to be published in 2019.

Morten Jerven has published widely on African economic development, and particularly on patterns of economic growth and on economic development statistics. His books are based on research in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana. Jerven is an economic historian, with a PhD from the London School of Economics. Since 2009 h worked at the School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. In 2015 I was appointed at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and worked as a professor in development studies there since 2016, where he maintains a visiting professorship. His doctoral research involved in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia and his work on the post-colonial economic performance of these countries has been published in a range of journal papers. The work is particularly innovative in investigating the construction of African growth data and showing how data quality issues are critical for the evaluation of economic performance. In Spring 2010, he visited Ghana and Nigeria and in the fall of the same year, went to Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia. There he followed up on my doctoral research and conducted interviews at the statistical offices.In 2013 he published his first book Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It, which is published by Cornell University Press. His second book, Economic Growth and Measurement Reconsidered in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia, 1965-1995, was published by Oxford University Press, and is a revised version of his doctoral thesis. His third book – Africa. Why Economists Get it Wrong - was published in 2015.

 asc@berkeley.edu, 510-642-8338