Stefan Dercon is Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies and a Professorial Fellow of Jesus College. He is also Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Economics Department. Between 2011 and 2017, he was Chief Economist of the Department of International Development (DFID), the government department in charge with the UK’s aid policy and spending. His research interests concern what keeps some people and countries poor: the failures of markets, governments and politics, mainly in Africa, and how to achieve change. Current research work focuses on the psychological challenges of poverty, the challenges of industrialisation in Africa, the challenges and opportunities of new technologies, and how to organise and finance responses to natural disasters and protracted humanitarian crises.
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Researchers examine whether exposure to role models through a video documentary can change individual’s aspirations and their future-oriented investments, such as investments in their children’s education.