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Johan Swinnen, PhD

  • Professor at the University of Leuven (KUL) in Belgium. Research Affiliate, Rural Education Action Project, FSE Visiting Scholar

LICOS Center for Transition Economics
34 3000 Leuven, Belgium


Johan Swinnen is Professor of Development Economics and Director of LICOS Center for Institutions and Economic Performance at the University of Leuven (KUL) in Belgium. He is also Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels, where he directs the programme on EU agricultural and rural policy. From 2003 to 2004 he was Lead Economist at the World Bank and from 1998 to 2001 Economic Advisor at the European Commission.

He is a regular consultant for these organizations and for the OECD, FAO, the EBRD, and several governments and was coordinator of several international research networks on food policy, institutional reforms, and economic development. He is President—Elect of the International Association of Agricultural Economists and a Fellow of the European Association of Agricultural Economists. He holds a Ph.D from Cornell University.  

His research focuses on institutional reform and development, globalization and international integration, media economics, and agriculture and food policy. His latest books are “Political Power and Economic Policy” (Cambridge Univ Press),  “The Perfect Storm: The Political Economy of the Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy” (CEPS),  “Global Supply Chains, Standards, and the Poor” (CABI), “Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in the Transition Economies of Europe and Central Asia” (World Bank Publications), and “From Marx and Mao to the Market” (Oxford University Press -- and Chinese translation by Beijing University Press). He is the president of The Beeronomics Society and editor of the book “The Economics of Beer” (Oxford Univ Press).