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

Post Archive

04 July 2018
Lukas Schlogl and Andy Sumner both of King’s College London are launching a new CGD paper today. To save you actually having to read it, they have helpfully picked out the…
26 June 2018
Deindustrialization has become the experience of many middle income developing countries. This week on the ESRC GPID blog we start a series of blogs on that topic. We’ve covered…
11 July 2016
Andy Sumner lays out why international aid must continually revisit the tensions between structural transformations and inclusive growth if it is to address the problems facing a…
30 September 2015
Time is running out for a global target on national income inequality. The current proposal actually allows for greater income concentration at the top of the chain. The final…
13 May 2015
Ending extreme poverty is likely to be one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. So it is a good idea to figure out what that entails. And it turns out that it’s…
04 February 2015
When does poverty end for an individual or country? The UN debate on ending global poverty and the forthcoming sustainable development goals has tended to focus on very poor…
17 December 2014
Andy Sumner argues that it may be more useful to ask when aid works, not whether. The policy debate around whether foreign aid—now $138.5 billion a year—works has been…
05 August 2014
As Joko Widodo is declared Indonesia’s President, new research has revealed the gap between richest & poorest has never been so great. Dr Arief Anshory Yusuf,…
27 September 2013
Alex Cobham and Andy Sumner bring us up to date on the techie-but-important debate over how to measure inequality. It’s about six months since we triggered a good wonk-…
24 July 2013
In this blog post and video, Andy Sumner examines Indonesia’s remarkable growth and speculates on what may be possible by 2025. As is well known Indonesia has achieved…
20 June 2013
Global consumption grew by $10 trillion from 1990 to 2010. So the $10 trillion question is who benefited and how much? In a new paper we explore who have been the winners and…
13 June 2013
Andy Sumner speculates on the future role of aid agencies. Imagine a world without extreme poverty. The Economist did and in doing so joined others who have argued that extreme…
30 May 2013
Andy Sumner and Alex Cobham examine why some countries manage direct tax evasion better than others. Debate on the role of inequality in the post-2015 framework has moved rapidly…
06 May 2013
Andy Sumner unpicks the bias and uncertainties within future global poverty forecasts. A Brookings paper out this week (here) does something a set of papers have sought to do…