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Professor of Economics, University of Copenhagen

Professor Tarp has more than 40 years of experience in academic and applied development economics research and teaching. His field experience covers more than 20 years of in-country work in 35 countries across Africa and the developing world more generally, including longer-term assignments in Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Vietnam. He was formerly Director of UNU-WIDER from 2009-2018 and is Professor of Development Economics at the University of Copenhagen.

Professor Tarp is a leading international expert on issues of development strategy and foreign aid, with an interest in poverty, income distribution and growth, micro- and macroeconomic policy and modeling, agricultural sector policy and planning, household and enterprise development, and economic adjustment and reform. He has published more than 110 articles in international academic journals—including The Economic Journal, Journal of Development Economics, World Bank Economic Review, European Economic Review, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, World Development, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Land Economics, Review of Income and Wealth, Journal of Economic Geography, Feminist Economics, Economic Development and Cultural Change, and Climatic Change—alongside many books, edited book volumes and special journal issues and more than 60 book chapters.

In addition to his university positions, Finn Tarp has held senior posts and advisory positions within government and with donor organizations, and he is member of a large number of international committees and advisory bodies. They include the European Union Development Network (EUDN) and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). He is also a member of the World Bank Chief Economist’s 15 member ‘Council of Eminent Persons’ advising the Chief Economist.

On 20 November 2015 Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark awarded Finn Tarp with the Order of the Dannebrog.


  • 1988–present
    Professor, University of Copenhagen
  • 1996–present
    Coordinator, Development Economics Research Group (DERG), UCPH
  • 2009–2018
    Director, UNU-WIDER
  • 2000–2003
    Senior Economist/Project Coordinator , Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM), Vietnam
  • 1987–1988
    Macroeconomist/Agricultural Planner (Team Leader), FAO/Ministry of Agriculture, Maputo, Mozambique
  • 1986–1987
    Project Coordinator/Planning Economist, FAO/Ministry of Agriculture, Maputo, Mozambique
  • 1981–1986
    Programme Officer/Economist, FAO, Maputo, Mozambique
  • 1980–1981
    Economist (FAO Associate Expert), FAO,Maputo, Mozambique
  • 1978–1980
    Programme Officer (FAO Associate Expert), FAO, Mbabane, Swaziland


  • 1992 
    University of Copenhagen, Lic. polit. (PhD)
  • 1977 
    University of Copenhagen, MSc


Order of the Dannebrog; The Vietnamese Government Medals of Honour for ‘Support to the Planning and Investment System’ and the ‘Cause of Science and Technology’.