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Paul Collier

Sir Paul Collier
Collier at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2013
Born (1953-04-25) 25 April 1953
Nationality British
Institution International Growth Centre, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford
Field Development economics
Alma mater University of Oxford

Sir Paul Collier, CBE (born 23 April 1949)[1] is Professor of Economics and Public Policy in the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. He is also a Director of the International Growth Centre, the Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies, and a Fellow of St Antony's College.

From 1998 until 2003 he was the director of the Development Research Group of the World Bank. In 2010 and 2011, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine to its list of top global thinkers.[2][3] Collier currently serves on the advisory board of Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP).


  • Career 1
  • Work 2
    • Research topics 2.1
    • Selected publications 2.2
    • Video 2.3
    • Press 2.4
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Collier is a specialist in the political, economic and developmental predicaments of poor countries.[4] He was brought up in Sheffield where he attended King Edward VII School.[5] He holds a Distinction Award from the University of Oxford, and in 1988 he was awarded the Edgar Graham Book Prize for the co-written Labour and poverty in rural Tanzania: Ujamaa and rural development in the United Republic of Tanzania.[6]

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It (ISBN 0195311450), has been compared[4] to Jeffrey Sachs's The End of Poverty and William Easterly's The White Man's Burden, two influential books, which like Collier's book, discuss the pros and cons of developmental aid to developing countries.

His 2010 book The Plundered Planet[7][8][9][10][11] is encapsulated in his formulas:

Nature – Technology + Regulation = Starvation,
Nature + Technology – Regulation = Plunder,

and Nature + Technology + Regulation (Good Governance) = Prosperity.

The book describes itself as an attempt at a middle way between the sustainable management in relation with the geo-politics of global warming, with an attempt to avoid a global tragedy of the commons, with prime example of overfishing. In it he builds upon a legacy of the economic psychology of greed and fear, from early Utilitarianism (Jeremy Bentham) to more recently the Stern Review.

He is a patron of the Media Legal Defence Initiative.

Collier was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours[12] and knighted in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to promoting research and policy change in Africa.[13]

In November 2014 Collier was awarded the President's Medal by the British Academy, for “his pioneering contribution in bringing ideas from research in to policy within the field of African economics.”

Currently he is working on a book called "State of War," in which he "sets out why [he thinks] democracy has gone wrong in the bottom billion and what would be needed to put it on track."[14]


Research topics

Selected publications


  • The Royal Economic Society's 2006 Annual Public Lecture, by Coller (Royal Economic Society)
  • Interview with Fareed Zakaria on Foreign Exchange
  • TED Conference, Paul Collier on "The Bottom Billion"
  • TED Conference, Paul Collier's new rules for rebuilding a broken nation


  • Review of The Plundered Planet by the Financial Times
  • Review of the Bottom Billion by the Financial Times
  • Review of the Bottom Billion in The New York Times
  • Review of The Bottom Billion by William Easterly in The Lancet
  • ."The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done about ItSamuel Grove, "The Bottom of the Barrel: A Review of Paul Collier's

See also


  1. ^ "Birthdays",  
  2. ^,39#thinker56 December 2011 Foreign Policy
  3. ^,28
  4. ^ a b "How to help the poorest: Springing the traps".  
  5. ^ Ward, Nick. "It's hats off to a master of art!". The  
  6. ^ "IUB Libraries: Edgar Graham Book Prize (African Studies)". 
  7. ^ (3 June 2010) Nature
  8. ^ The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity with Nature by Paul Collier; How can the west stop poor nations being exploited for their natural wealth? The Guardian
  9. ^ Vidal, John (8 May 2010). "The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity with Nature by Paul Collier".  
  10. ^ , Financial Times
  11. ^ 20 August 2010 in Science
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58729. p. 7. 14 June 2008.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60728. p. 1. 31 December 2013.
  14. ^ Miguel, Edward (2009). Africa's Turn?. Cambridge, MA: MIT. p. 110.  

External links

  • Paul Collier's home page at the Blavatnik School of Government
  • Links to downloadable research papers on Africa, Aid, Conflict, Political Economy and other topics
  • Interview with Paul Collier by J. Tyler Dickovick
  • in March 2009Oxonian ReviewInterview with the
  • Video of recent talk at Oxford University – "The Bottom Billion"
  • TED Talks: Paul Collier shares 4 ways to help the "bottom billion" at TED in 2008
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