Author - Andy Sumner

Andy Sumner

Andy Sumner is a Reader in International Development and Co-Director of the King’s International Development Institute at King’s College London.

He has published extensively on poverty, inequality and economic development including nine books.

His research is at the interface of development studies and development economics.

His current research focuses on: (i) global poverty and inequality; Inclusive growth and structural transformation in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand); (ii) the future of foreign aid and (iii) the future of aid and development cooperation in middle-income developing countries.

A central theme of his work is the persistence of poverty in middle-income countries and the implications of national inequality for poverty and theories of poverty. His research seeks to reconnect the analysis of poverty with the study of economic development and structural transformation.

In recent years his research has focused on the fact that about a billion people or three-quarters of the world’s poor live in middle-income countries. This raises various questions about the causes of poverty, about distributional patterns of economic development and about the dominant country analytical categories themselves.

His work seeks to challenge the orthodox view that absolute poverty is necessarily minimal or residual at higher levels of per capita income; rather, that absolute poverty is a distributional outcome of specific patterns of economic development and welfare regimes.

He was Co-Director of King’s International Development Institute, King’s College London from 2012-2016. Prior to that he was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), at the University of Sussex.

He was a Vice President of, and UK representative to, the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) from 2008 to 2014 and a Council Member of the Development Studies Association, UK and Ireland, from 2000 to 2014.

He is an editorial board member of Global Policy and Deputy Executive Editor.

He holds associate positions at Oxford University at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative; the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC; the United Nations University, WIDER, Helsinki and the Centre for Economics and Development Studies, Padjadjaran University, Indonesia.

He was UK representative and Vice President of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes between 2008 to 2014 and a council member of the Development Studies Association from 2000 to 2014.

He has been listed in Foreign Policy Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers’ for the impact of his work on global poverty.

Twitter @andypsumner


Posts Archive:


Top Incomes Drive Inequality – So Why does the Inequality Target ignore them?

Philanthropy, Welfare Capitalism, or Radically Different Global Economic Model?

When Does One Dime = 100 Million People?

What does the end of global poverty look like?

 The $138.5 Billion Question: When Does Foreign Aid Work?

Indonesia’s President: A new hope for the poor?

Is Inequality All About the Tails? The Palma, the Gini and Post-2015

 From Low Income, High Poverty to High-Income, No Poverty?

What’s the $10 trillion question?

Poverty, Geography and the Double Dilemma

Progressive policies and the Palma

The future of Global Poverty: What if there were multiple horizons for aid post-

On inequality, let’s do the Palma (because the Gini is so last century)



Should Poverty be defined by a Single International Poverty Line, or Country by

Beyond Linear Development Trajectories

Where will the world’s poor live?