Prof. Dr. Jann Lay

Lead Research Fellow | Head of Research Programme "Globalisation and Development"

Prof. Dr. Jann Lay

  • Short CV

    • 10/2015 - 10/2018: Acting Director of the GIGA Institute of African Affairs

    • Since 2015: Apl. Prof. at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

    • Since 2009: Head of GIGA Research Programme 3 "Socio-Economic Development in the Context of Globalisation"

    • 2009 - 2015: Junior-Professor at the Georg-August-University, Göttingen

    • 2007 - 2009: Head of Research Area ‘Poverty Reduction, Equity, and Development’, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany

    • 2002 - 2006: Research Fellow, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany

    • Since 2002: Various Consultancies for The World Bank, the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the OECD Development Centre (details of selected projects below)

    • 2002: Consultant, OECD Development Centre, Paris, France

    • 2001: Research Assistant, Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas, La Paz, Boliva

    • Education: Doctoral Studies at the Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany; Dr.rer.pol. (summa cum laude); Dissertation on ‘Evaluating the Poverty and Distributional Impact of Economic Policies and External Shocks Combining Macro and Micro Approaches: Three Case Studies from Latin America’; Master in Economics (Diplom-Volkswirt) at Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany; Undergraduate Studies at Otto-Friedrich-University, Bamberg, Germany; University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Spain; University of California, Los Angeles, United States

    Current Research

    • Informal entrepreneurship in developing countries

    • Structural change and its poverty and distributional implications

    • Natural resources, economic development and conflict

    Countries and Regions

    • Africa


    • Rat für nachhaltige Entwicklungspolitik der Stadt Hamburg, Membership of board, 2018 - 2020
    • W3 - Werkstatt für internationale Kultur und Politik e.V., Advisory board member, since 2015
    • Entwicklungsökonomischer Ausschuss, Verein für Socialpolitik, Membership of committee, section or working group, since 2010
    • International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, Membership in discipline-specific association or network, since 2009

    Prof. Dr. Jann Lay

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Globalisation and Development"

    T. +49 (0)40 - 428

    Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

    "Stepping Down the Ladder": The Impacts of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Removal in a Developing Country

    This paper provides quasi-experimental evidence from Ghana on the impact of fossil fuel subsidy removal on cooking fuel choices.

    Hannes Greve

    Former GIGA Team member

    GIGA Working Papers | 06/2023

    Digitalisation and Labour Markets in Developing Countries

    The impact of digitalisation on labour markets is felt worldwide. In the Global South, internet access expands, digital platforms proliferate, but access to and use of digital technologies remains far from universal. We review evidence on the labour markets effects of some of these digital trends.

    GIGA Focus Global | 2/2023

    Digital Skills in the Global South: Gaps, Needs, and Progress

    The arrival of AI-powered chatbots has made many people think once again about the skills needed for the "digital future of work." Poorer countries in particular exhibit large “digital skills gaps.” This GIGA Focus looks at digital skills in the Global South.

    GIGA Working Papers | 04/2023

    Africa’s Emergent Tech Sector: Its Characteristics and Impact on Development and Labour Markets

    This study investigates the characteristics of Africa’s tech sector and its impact on economic development, specifically on labour markets. Using a novel database, we show how African startups are increasingly driving development through locally adapted “home-grown” digital technologies.

    Environment and Development Economics | 02/2023

    How Vulnerable are Small Firms to Energy Price Increases? Evidence from Mexico

    The vulnerability of small firms to price shocks may partly explain why fossil fuel subsidy removals in developing countries are so difficult to implement. This paper analyzes the effects of fuel and electricity price increases on profits of micro- and small-sized enterprises in Mexico.

    Research Project | 01/07/2022 - 31/03/2023

    Platforms and Online Workers in India and Africa: Challenges and Opportunities for Decent Work

    Technological advances and digitalisation are rapidly transforming the world of work, and the emergence of online labour platforms is one manifestation of this. The resulting labour market outcomes and dynamics are not well understood, particularly in the Global South. This project consists of a series of four studies that contribute to understanding the characteristics and dynamics of online work in India and selected African countries.
    GIZ, 2022-2023

    Research Project | 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2022

    Land-Based Investments in Global Supply Chains and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups

    The second phase of the research project “Large-Scale Land Acquisitions, Rural Change, and Social Conflict” focuses on the socio-economic impact of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLA) on local populations, particularly in terms of communal land rights and indigenous groups. Furthermore, it investigates the relationship between LSLA and global (agricultural) supply chains. The project aims to synthesise existing research and generate new evidence at the intersection of rural development and sustainable production and consumption.
    BMZ, 2022

    Research Project | 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2024

    Digital Transformation Lab (DigiTraL): Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft

    “Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft” is funded by the Federal Foreign Office. It focuses on how digitalisation offers new opportunities, challenges, and instruments for foreign policy. It will identify the options and (security) threats of digitalisation to develop timely responses of (digital) diplomacy.
    FFO, 2021-2024

    Research Project | 01/09/2020 - 31/08/2026

    Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA)

    MIASA, based at the University of Legon, Ghana, is one of five Maria Sibylla Merian Centres for Advanced Studies, funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research. Its overall aim is to work towards a reduction of global asymmetries in knowledge production and bridging the cultural divide between anglophone and francophone Africa. MIASA's thematical focus is on sustainable governance. The GIGA contributes to the Interdisciplinary Fellow Group on ‘Sustainable Rural Transformation’ and its outreach activities.
    BMBF, 2020-2026

    Frankfurter Rundschau | Quote | 02/04/2023

    Uganda und Tansania: Wenn gute Bildung nicht genug ist

    Viele junge Menschen in Tansania und Uganda haben keine berufliche Zukunft. Es fehlen Jobs. Eine Frankfurter Initiative hilft ihnen, für sich und andere eine Perspektive zu schaffen. GIGA-Experte Prof. Dr. Jann Lay kommentiert.

    Deutsche Welle | Mention | 28/02/2022

    Was Entwicklungsministerin Schulzes erste Afrika-Reise verrät

    Ihre erste Reise als Entwicklungsministerin führt Svenja Schulze nach Afrika. Ein Zeichen, dass Afrika auch für sie eine große Bedeutung hat. Aber sonst will die Neue einiges anders machen als ihr Vorgänger. Mit Einschätzungen von Prof. Dr. Jann Lay.


    Stuttgarter Zeitung | Interview | 27/08/2021

    Afrika muss noch wichtiger werden

    Teaching | University of Göttingen | 2023

    Controversies in Development Economics

    University of Göttingen Göttingen Germany

    Teaching | University of Göttingen | 2023

    Development Economics III: Regional Perspectives in Development Economics

    University of Göttingen Göttingen Germany

    Teaching | University of Göttingen | 2022

    Controversies in Development Econonomics

    University of Göttingen Göttingen Germany


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