Vernon Henderson

School Professor of Economic Geography

Department of Geography and Environment


Vernon Henderson joined the LSE in September 2013, having previously been Eastman Professor of Political Economy at Brown University, USA. Vernon’s research focuses on urbanization in developing countries. He has on-going work in Indonesia and China, covering topics to do with urbanization but also land markets, infrastructure investment, corruption, and disaster aid delivery. He has recent work on urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on migration and climate change. His work is published in journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Regional Science and the Rand Journal of Economics. His teaching interests include urban economics, urbanization in developing countries, and the economics of China.

Vernon is co-editor of the Journal of Urban Economics and the Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, and serves on a number of editorial boards. He is President of the Urban Economics Association. Recent research has been funded by the World Bank, National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation. He has provided recent policy advice to China, India, and other developing countries either directly or through the World Bank and McKinsey.

  • Urban and regional economics
  • Urbanization
  • Spatial and economic development of China

Recent publications:

  • “Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space,’ with Adam Storeygard and David Weil, American Economic Review, 2012, 102, 994-1028.
  • “Exclusionary Policies in Urban Development,” with Leo Feler Journal of Urban Economics, 2011, 69, 253-272
  • “Corruption and Local Democratization in Indonesia: The Role of Islamic Parties,” with Ari Kuncoro, Journal of Development Economics, 2011, 94, 164-180
  • “Cities and Development,” Journal of Regional Science, 2010, 50, 515-540
  • “The Dynamics of City Formation” (with Tony Venables), Review of Economic Dynamics, 2009, 12, 233-254
  • “Agglomeration of Headquarters,” (with J. Davis), Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2008, 63, 431-450
  • “Networking Off Madison Avenue,” (with M. Arzaghi), Review of Economic Studies, 2008, 75, 1011-1038.

Working papers:

Vernon Henderson speaking at LSE

China's Urban Policies: dilemmas facing the world's largest urban population

With the majority of its population now urban dwellers, China faces a unique set of challenges. Vernon Henderson examines the policy options as Chinese cities continue to grow. Professor Henderson is a leading expert in urbanisation of developing countries and School Professor of Economic Geography at LSE.

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Vernon Henderson
Personal page
Urban Economics Association
Global and African Urbanization Projects