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Dr Richard Itaman

Richard is an Intellectual Forum Senior Research Associate.

He currently holds a Senior Research Fellowship with the South African Research Chair in Industrial Development in Africa, at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK. His research and teaching are in the fields of financial development, structural transformation, sustainable finance, macroeconomics and the political economy of development in Africa.  

In his research on financial development, he undertook a re-examination of the finance-growth nexus following the 2008 financial crisis, by revisiting the empirical methods of the threshold literature and the implications of the conclusions drawn for development in sub-Saharan African countries. His contribution to the finance-growth nexus literature is by deriving a link between the political economy debate on the productiveness of finance or lack thereof, and the nexus. He then separated financial services value-added from GDP to account for potential non-productiveness of finance given contestations in the Systems of National Accounts (SNA) and re-estimated the relationship between finance and growth. His findings support the narrative that financial deepening has no absolute positive impact on growth. 

His work on structural transformation investigates the importance of finance for structural transformation and the potential of rent-seeking activities in specific contexts to distort the flow of finance to the real sectors. He also explores how industrial policy success is hinged on demand-led structural change, pointing out the importance of domestic market formation for structural transformation. 

His research has been published in peer-review journals such as Development and Change, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Journal of Economic Surveys and Journal of Post-Keynesian Economics. He has analysed the current model of financing development in Africa for the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), making a case for bolder financing approach to Africa’s development. He is a regular contributor to blogs such as Developing Economics, The Conversation, OECD Development Matters, among others. 

Before joining Jesus College, University of Cambridge, Richard was Lecturer in Comparative Political Economy and Development in the Department of International Development at King’s College London. He previously taught economics at the University of Bath, University College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He served as Co-ordinator for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Young Scholars’ Initiative.  

He has a wealth of teaching experience that includes courses such as Microeconomics and Macroeconomic Analyses; Economics of Development; Macroeconomics of Institutions, Instability and the Financial System; The Political Economy of Market Reforms; The Political Economy of Public Finance in Emerging Economies; Emerging Market Economies of East Europe, Russia, China and other Transition Economies; Project Management for International Development; Poverty, Inequality and Social Policy; Political Economy of Financial Development, among others. 

He brings his experience in finance from Barclays Bank and microfinance banking in Nigeria to his research and teaching. He has also consulted for the Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Commonwealth, and made significant contribution to the 2018 Commonwealth Trade Review report by analysing intra- and extra-commonwealth trade and investment and their impact on member states. 

Richard holds a PhD in economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London.

Academic Interests 

  • Financial development 
  • Structural transformation 
  • Sustainable finance 
  • Macroeconomics 
  • Political economy of development in Africa.

Publications

  • Itaman, R. E. (2021). The finance-growth nexus enigma: Bringing in institutional context and the productiveness debate. Journal of Economic Surveys, 1–24. 
  • Itaman, R. and Wolf, C. (2021). Industrial Policy and Monopoly Capitalism in Nigeria: Lessons from the Dangote Business Conglomerate. Development and Change. 
  • Itaman, R.E and Awopegba, O.E (2021). Finance, oil rent and premature deindustrialisation in Nigeria. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, 59 (2021), 141-169. 
  • Itaman, R. (2021). The AfDB and its Origins of Financing Development in Africa: Locating Money Finance within Industrial Policy. CODESRIA Bulletin, 1 (2021), 41-45.  
  • Itaman, R. and Wolf, Christina (2021). Industrial policy paved the way for Dangote’s empire. Why it didn’t deliver for all Nigerians. The Conversation.

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