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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 patterns and drivers of structural change in colonial and early independence Senegal.

I am also a researcher on an ongoing 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 that was awarded a grant from the ESRC's Rebuilding Macroeconomics initiative.

Research Interests

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


I supervise students on Paper 23 (World History After 1914) and have lectured on Paper 29 (History of Africa).

Other Professional Activities

Visiting Researcher, West African Research Centre (Dakar) - October 2018–January 2019

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.


Conference presentations

"Occupational structure in the French Western Sudan, c.1900-2010", presented to the African Occupational Structures workship, King's College, Cambridge, 2018.

"Fiscal Jacobinism and the macroeconomics of the transition to federal governance in French West Africa, 1895-1960". 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". Presented at the 2018 African Economic History Network meeting in Bologna, October 2018]

Working papers in progress

"The human capital of human capital: slavery and skills premiums in 19th century urban Senegal". To be presented at the European Historical Economics Society conference at the Paris School of Economics, August 2019.

"Real incomes in French Africa: insights from real wages"

"Structural change in Senegal: evidence from occupational structures, c.1870-2002". To be presented at the Economic History Society annual conference in Belfast, April 2019 as part of a panel on historical African occupational structures.