Timothy Swanson


Academic Co-Director, Centre for International Environmental Studies
Spoken languages
Areas of expertise
  • Conservation, biodiversity
  • Environment, environmental policies, law, and economics
  • Natural resources, extractive economies, commodities
  • Sustainable development
  • Water
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Asia


PhD, London School of Economics 
Timothy Swanson holds the André Hoffmann Chair of Environmental Economics. He has graduate degrees in law and economics, completing his PhD at the London School of Economics under the supervision of Nick Stern. Previously, he was the holder of the Chair of Law and Economics at University College London, a lecturer at Cambridge University and the Research Director for the UK’s National Centre on Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE). Recently, he has led research teams on issues dealing with: environmental governance in China (for the China Council and the ADB), biodiversity management domestically and globally (for various developing countries as well as the European Union’s BioEcon programme), EU water management, as well as intellectual property rights and biotechnology regulation (EU and European Science Foundation). He has advised many international agencies (OECD, UNEP, World Bank) on issues dealing with burden sharing and institution-building under international environmental agreements such as the Montreal Protocol and the Convention on Biological Diversity. His publications appear in journals which focus on economics, international affairs and development, environmental studies, as well as law and economics.



  • The Return of Malthus?  Resource Constraints in an Era of Declining Population Growth, (with P. Naso and B. Lanz), European Economic Review, 128:103499 (September 2020), https:/

  • An Introduction to the Economics of Malthusianism (with T. Aidt), European Economic Review, 128:103546 (September 2020)  https:/

  • The Impact of Environmental Regulation on China’s Spatial Development (with P. Naso and Y. Huang), Economics of Transition and Institutional Change, vol. 28(1), pages 161-194, (January 2020)

  • Legal pluralism in post-conflict Sierra Leone, (with P. Naso and E. Bulte), European Journal of Political Economy, 61:101819 (January 2020), 

  • Larcom S, Panzone L A, Swanson T, Follow the Leader? Testing for the Internalization of Law, Journal Of Legal Studies, 48, 1, pp. 217 - 244, 2019

  • Naso P, Bulte E, Swanson T, Legal pluralism in post-conflict Sierra Leone, European Journal Of Political Economy, pp. 1 - 21, 2019

  • Naso P, Huang Y, Swanson T, The impact of environmental regulation on Chinese spatial development, Economics of Transition and Institutional Change, pp. 1 - 34, 2019

  • Ravetti C, Swanson T, Jin Y, Mu Q et al., A dragon eating its own tail: public control of air pollution information in China, Environment And Development Economics, 24, 1, pp. 1 - 22, 2019

  • Ravetti C, Sarr M, Munene D, Swanson T, Discrimination and favouritism among South African workers: Ethnicidentity and union membership, World Development, 123, pp. 1 - 16, 2019

  • Discrimination and favoritism among workers: union membership and ethnic identity in the coal fields of South Africa, (with M. Sarr and C. Ravetti), World Development, 123:1-21 (November 2019)

  • A Dragon Eating Its Own Tail: Pollution Information and Pollution Control in China (with C. Ravetti, et. al.), Environment and Development Economics, 24:1-22 (November 2019)

  • Follow the Leader? Measuring the Internalization of Law, (with S. Larcom and L. Panzone), Journal of Legal Studies, 48(1):217-244 (January 2019).

  • Foreign Aid and Political Instability in Resource Rich Countries (with C. Ravetti and M. Sarr), Resources Policy, 58:277-294,  (July 2018). 

  • The expansion of modern agriculture and global biodiversity decline: an integrated assessment, (with B. Lanz and S. Dietz), Ecological Economics, 144, pp. 260-277, (Feb 2018). 

  • The Behavioural Effect of Pigovian Regulation: evidence from a field experiment.  (with B. Lanz, J. Wurlod and L. Panzone),  Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 87: 190-205, January 2018.

  • Economic growth and agricultural land conversion under uncertain productivity improvements in agriculture (with B Lanz, S Dietz), American Journal of Agricultural Economics, aax078, (December 2017)

  • Global population growth, Technology and Malthusian constraints: A quantitative growth theoretic perspective (with B. Lanz and S. Dietz), International Economic Review, 58(3), 973-1006, August 2017. 

  • Will Technological Change Save the World?  (with M. Sarr), Environmental and Resource Economics,  Volume 66 (3), 577–604, March 2017.

  • Resistance to the regulation of common water resources in rural Tunisia (with X. Liu and M. Sarr), Land Economics, v.91 no 3 (2015), 435-459, 2015.

  • Documenting legal dissonance: legal pluralism in Papua New Guinea, (with S. Larcom), Review of Law & Economics, Volume 11, Issue 1, Pages 25–50, 2015.