Tony Venables

Tony Venables, CBE

Professorial Fellow; BP Professor of Economics; Director of Oxcarre
Economics and Management
BA Camb, MA BPhil DPhil Oxf, FBA
Tony studied economics at Clare College Cambridge, followed by the MPhil and DPhil in economics at St. Antony’s College Oxford.  He went from there into academic appointments at Sussex, Southampton and the London School of Economics.  These were interspersed with periods working as an economist in the World Bank in Washington, and as Chief Economist in the UK Department for International Development. 


Tony’s work addresses the broad question of why economic activity and prosperity are distributed so unevenly within and between countries. It combines academic work with policy application on topics including international trade, European integration, multinational firms, and growth in developing countries.  His current work in Oxford has two strands.  One is researching the economic problems faced by economies blessed – or cursed – with large amounts of natural resources such as oil.  This work is based in the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies (Oxcarre) which he directs.  The other is studying the process of urbanisation in developing countries, looking in particular at the problems encountered in many fast growing cities.  This is part of a programme of work between Oxford, the London School of Economics and the World Bank.

Selected publications

  • The spatial economy; cities, regions and international trade, with M. Fujita and P. Krugman (MIT press, 1999)
  • ‘Breaking into tradables: urban form and urban function in a developing city’, Journal of Urban Economics, (2017)
  • ‘Building functional cities’, with J.V. Henderson, T. Regan, I. Samsonov, Science, (2016)
  • ‘Using natural resources for development: why has it proven so difficult?’ Journal of Economic Perspectives, (2016).
  • ‘Spiders and snakes: off-shoring and agglomeration in the global economy’ with R. Baldwin, Journal of International Economics, (2013).
Explore further

Discover more about New College