Andy Sumner

Andy Sumner

Andy Sumner is a Professor of International Development in the Department of International Development. He is also Director of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Global Challenges Strategic Research Network on Global Poverty and Inequality Dynamics.

He has twenty years’ international research experience using both qualitative and quantitative methods and has published extensively, including ten books and fifty journal papers and book chapters. His most recent books are 'Global Poverty' (2016, Oxford University Press) and 'Development and Distribution' (2018, Oxford University Press).

He was appointed at King’s in 2012 and was a founding Co-Director of the King’s International Development Institute, which later became the Department of International Development. He is a member of the ESRC Peer Review College and has also held various roles in academic networks, including as a Vice President of, and UK representative to, the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) from 2008 to 2014, and as a Council Member of the Development Studies Association, UK and Ireland, from 2000 to 2014.

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

Andy's research is at the interface of international development studies and heterodox development economics. His area of expertise is poverty, inequality, and ‘inclusive growth’ in middle-income developing countries. He has pursued his research at two scales: 1) in the analysis of global poverty and global inequality; 2) in the analysis of poverty and inequality in the Southeast Asia region and Indonesia in particular.

He is well known for challenging prevailing assumptions about global poverty and theorising about the paradox of the persistence of global poverty alongside dramatic and sustained economic growth.

His research has been cited by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), by international development agencies such as the World Bank and United Nations agencies, and by media.

He has also been asked to contribute expertise to various policy-related processes, such as the Select Committees of the House of Commons, the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and a Lancet Poverty Commission. He has been listed in US magazine Foreign Policy’s ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers’, and in the Huffington Post’s ‘Most Influential Voices’.

Post Archive

23 July 2020
Christopher Hoy and Andy Sumner introduce a new paper exploring the possibility of ending global poverty in a post-pandemic world. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the…
09 April 2020
The impacts of COVID-19 in developing countries are starting to be felt. The Economist went as far as to call it the ‘next calamity’, noting how overlooked the impact on poorer…
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 polarized…
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, Padjadjaran…
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-tastic…
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…