Sir Tim Besley
Sir Tim Besley CBE FBA is School Professor of Economics and Political Science and Sir W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics at LSE.
Areas of expertise
- Economic policy
- Political science
- Development economics
- Political economy
- Climate change
- Public economics
Tim Besley is School Professor of Economics and Political Science and Sir W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics at LSE. From September 2006 to August 2009, he served as an external member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee and is currently a member of the UK National Infrastructure Commission and the UK Government’s Levelling Up Advisory Council. He currently also serves on the IMF-World Bank High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable and Inclusive Development. He is a past chair of the LSE Growth Commission which explored how the UK economy could respond to to the Financial Crisis and Brexit. He was also the co-found and joint academic Director of the Oxford-LSE Fragile States Commission chaired by David Cameron.
Besley is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the British Academy as well as a foreign honorary member of the American Economic Association and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is past President of the Royal Economic Society, European Economic Association, International Economic Association and the Econometric Society.
His main research interests are in the understanding of how institutions shape how the economy works with a particular interest in political economy. His research has stressed the importance of building state capacities as a means of improving economic policy making. The work cuts across traditional debates about the size of government and stresses what government can do well and the means of ensuring that this happens. He puts these academic ideas to work in his policy engagement roles. His current interests include drawing lessons from the pandemic response and considering how policy making can be made more effective to fight climate change.