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Tom Westland


Originally from Yackandandah in Australia, I have undergraduate degrees in Economics and History from the Australian National University in Canberra as well as a master's degree from the Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement in Geneva. I also spent time at Boğaziçi University in İstanbul. I am now a Wong-Calthorpe Cambridge-Australia scholar at Sidney Sussex College.

I am primarily an economic historian of the developing world, with particular interest in Afrique occidentale française and Senegal; I have also published on economic development in Asia. My doctoral research, which is supervised by Professor Gareth Austin, focuses on the process of industrialisation in late colonial and early independence Senegal. As part of this, I am working on establishing new estimates of urban real wages in non-British colonies, a quantitative assessment of the macroeconomic impact of fiscal federalism in French colonial federations, and a dataset of historical tariff rates for West African countries, among other work. I am also working on projects relating to the economic history of Lusophone Africa, French Morocco and Northern Nigeria. 

Research Interests

  • Economic history and economic development
  • Quantitative methods
  • African history
  • Industrialisation, trade and finance


  • Economic, Social History


Key Publications

Armstrong, Shiro, and Tom Westland (eds) 2018. Asian economic integration in an era of global uncertainty, ANU Press, Canberra

Other Publications

Armstrong, Shiro & Tom Westland 2016, 'Escaping the Middle-Income trap: Trade, Investment and Innovation', in Francis E. Hutchinson & Sanchita Basu Das (ed.), Asia and the Middle-Income Trap (Pacific Trade & Development Conference Series - PAFTAD), Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, New York, pp. 207-224.


Working papers in progress:

"Occupational structure in the French Western Sudan, c.1900-2010"

"Fiscal Jacobinism and the macroeconomics of the transition to federal governance in French West Africa, 1895-1960"

(with Emiliano Travieso) "Cloth, crops and the Caliphate: the deindustrialisation of Sokoto under British rule"

(with Laura Channing) "The new fiscal history of Africa: a review"