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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, as part of the AFCHOS project, I am working on establishing a dataset to document the historical development of occupational structure in Senegal. I am also a research assistant working on a project on trade and structural change in the developing world in the high age of European imperialism with researchers at Cambridge, SOAS and Goldsmiths, University of London.

Research Interests

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

Other Professional Activities

I will be a Visiting Researcher, West African Research Centre (Dakar) - October 2018-January 2019 and a CamPo PhD exchange student at the Centre d'histoire at Sciences Po, Paris, January 2019-June 2019.



  • Economic, Social History
  • Imperial 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" [to be presented at the 2018 African Economic History Network meeting in Bologna, October 2018]

(with Emiliano Travieso) "Cloth, crops and the Caliphate: the deindustrialisation of Sokoto under British rule" [to be presented at the 2018 African Economic History Network meeting in Bologna, October 2018]

"Wages and welfare of African-Americans during the Second Great Migration: a note on relative price levels"

"Intercolonial income inequality in sub-Saharan Africa: a note on the revised Maddison Project per capita income estimates" [available from the author upon request]