Leonard Wantchekon

James Madison Professor of Political Economy and Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University


Leonard Wantchekon has made substantive and methodological contributions to the fields of political economy, economic history and development economics, and has also contributed significantly to the literatures on clientelism and state capture, resource curse and democratization.


Wantchekon is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Econometric Society and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association.


He has served as Secretary of the American Political Science Association and on the Executive Committee of the Afrobarometer Network. He is the Founder and President of the African School of Economics, which opened in Benin in 2014.


Together with Elias Papaioannou (London Business School), Stelios Michalopoulos (Brown University) and Nathan Nunn (Harvard University) and supported by CEPR, STEG and the European Research Council, Wantchekon led the Wheeler Institute open-access lecture series African History through the Lens of Economics. The course ran from February 1 to April 13 of 2022 and has attracted more than 27.000 registrations. For more information visit the course website.