Berhanu Abegaz
Masthead image

Ethiopian Woman

                     "Make poverty history"




Chair, Department of Economics

Professor of Economics

The College of William and Mary


B.A., Princeton University (Thesis advisor:  Sir W. Arthur Lewis)
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (Thesis advisors:  Alan Heston and Jacques Cremer)


Faculty Affiliate:

Africana Studies (Founding Director), CWM

International Relations Program (Former Director), CWM

Public Policy Program, CWM



Senior Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam


Contact Info:

Phone: (757) 221- 2379
Fax: (757) 221-1175 

Mail: Department of Economics, College of William & Mary, P.O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187


I am primarily a development economist with a special interest in centrally planned economies.  My teaching interests are wide-ranging and encompass the economics of growth, comparative economics, development economics, regional economic integration, the economics of inequality, late industrialization, and economic globalization. 

My research interests and publications are also wide-ranging and have an interdisciplinary bent.  I have authored several books and articles on:


  •      structural convergence in manufacturing industries of leaders and latecomers,
  • the role of diversified business groups in emerging economies,
  • Party- or Military-owned business empires in emerging economies,
  •          African industrialization,
  •          the effectiveness of development aid,
  •          economic reform in post-socialist economies, 
  •     extractive contests and growth in tributary states, and
  •             poverty traps in Ethiopia's agrarian systems.
  • Books (forthcoming):

  • Industrial Development in Africa: Mapping Industrialization Pathways for a Leaping Leopard, London: Routledge, 2018.

  • A Tributary Model of State Formation:  Ethiopia, 1650-2000, New York:  Springer, 2018.
  • Books (published):

    Manpower Development Planning:  Theory and an African Case Study, Aldershot:  Avebury, 1994.



    Books/Monographs (edited or co-edited):


    ·      The Challenge of European Integration (with Patricia Dillon, David Feldman, and Paul Whiteley), Boulder:  Westview Press, 1994. 

    Book 2


    ·       Essays on Ethiopian Economic Development, London:  Routledge, 1994.





     ·       The Economic Demography of Mass Poverty, Studies in Third World Societies, 29, Williamsburg:  College of William and Mary, 1986.

     Recent Journal Articles:


    ·       “A Pathway from Exclusionary to Inclusionary State and Market Institutions for Ethiopia,” International Journal of Ethiopian Studies, 9(1-2), 2015.

    ·       “Aid, Accountability, and Institution-Building in Ethiopia: A Comparative Analysis of Donor Practice,” Third World Quarterly, 36 (7), 2015: 1382-1403.

    ·       “Political Parties in Business: Rent-seekers, Developmentalists, or Both?” Journal of Development Studies, September 2013.

    ·       “The Elusive Productivity Effect of Trade Liberalization in the Manufacturing Industries of Emerging Economies,” Emerging Markets Finance & Trade, 2011, 47(1), pp. 5-27 (with Arnab Basu).

    ·       “The Speed of Structural Convergence in the Manufacturing Industries of Newly Industrializing Countries,” South African Journal of Economics, 76 (S2), 2008, pp. s89-s109.

    ·       "Multilateral Development Aid for Africa," Economic Systems, 29(4), 2005, pp. 433-454.