Dr Igor Martins

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Affiliated Member of Clare Hall

I am an economic historian who specialized in development economics, labor coercion, and colonial legacies.  I obtained my M.Sc and Ph.D. in Economic History at Lund University in Sweden. I am currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Cambridge where I contribute to an exciting project on labor economics and labor market integration in West Africa

Aside from my role in England, I continue to be affiliated with Lund University where I am a postdoctoral fellow contributing to the biggest African Economic History research project in the world, and also a project on resilience to economic shrinking as a catching-up strategy.​ I am also interested in bibliometrics.

Complementary to my research assignments, my teaching experience encompasses courses covering academic writing, methods, and colonialism in Africa and Latin America. For my work as a teacher, I have been awarded the Teacher of the Year prize in 2020 by Lund University School of Economics and Management.


Tags & Themes


Faculty of History, West Road, CB3 9AF Cambridge


Published works

Smythe A., I. Martins, and M. Andersson. (2023). "Inequality, Poverty, and Economic Shrinking: How can developing countries build greater resilience for more sustainable development patterns?''. In: International Journal of Development Issues.

Martins, I. and S. Schwaag Serger. (2023). "An age of disentangled research?" Issues in Science and Technology, 40(4) p. 38--43.

Martins, I. and S. Schwaag Serger. (2023). "Shifting patterns in international research cooperations." In: STINT, 23 (1), p. 1-48.

Axelsson, T. and I. Martins. (2023). "Resilience to shrinking as a catch-up strategy: a comparison of Brazil and Indonesia, 1964–2019." In: Studies in Comparative International Development, p. 1–26.

Martins, I., J. Cilliers, and J. Fourie. (2022). "Legacies of loss: The health outcomes of slaveholder compensation in the British Cape Colony." In: Explorations in Economic History, 101506.

Martins, I. (2020). “Collateral Effect: Slavery and Wealth in the Cape Colony” Ph.D. Thesis. Lund University.

Palacio, A. and I. Martins. (2019). “What caused poverty reduction in Brazil during the 2000s: sectoral growth or public expenditures”. In: OASIS. Observatorio de Analisis de los Sistemas Internacionales, 32, p. 1-25.

Palacio, A. and I. Martins. (2018). “Poverty and Democracy: the Brazilian experience”. In: Poverty, Politics and the Poverty of Politics. Ed. by D. Rauhut and N. Hatti. New Delhi: B.R. Publishing Corporation, p. 193-210.

Works in progress

Martins, I. (2023). “Raising capital to raise crops: Slave emancipation and agricultural output in the Cape Colony”. 

Martins, I. (2023). “An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade: The effects of an import ban on Cape Colony slaveholders”. In: European Review of Economic History. (Revise & Resubmit).

Cilliers, J., M. Mariotti, and I. Martins. (2022). “Fertility responses to short-term economic stress: Price and wealth shocks in a pre-transitional settler colony”

Martins, I. (2023). "Market Integration and the Development of Capitalism in Ghana, 1987--2005''.

Martins, I, P. Aboagye, and G. Austin. (2023). "The Ghanaian divergence: prices, incomes and living standards divergence after independence''.