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Frank Borge Wietzke

Frank Borge Wietzke

Assistant Professor


Borge works at the intersection of comparative politics and economics. His research interests include the historical origins of inequality and institutional development with a focus on the long-term consequences of missionary work and colonialism in the developing world. Borge’s recent research explores the drivers and consequences of recent ‘middle class’ growth in developing countries, including the political behaviours and redistribution preferences of the ‘new middle classes’, and the political economy of social policy reform and development finance in middle income countries. Borge’s research typically combines detailed econometric evidence with thorough contextual and political economy analysis.

Originally trained as a political scientist (University of Leipzig and Science Po Paris) Borge holds a PhD in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. Borge’s work has appeared in journals like World Development, Journal of Development Studies, Socio-Economic Review, and Development Policy Review. Borge also has extensive policy experience with the World Bank and the United Nations, where he has worked on issues related to social protection, decentralization, and development finance.

Background and education

  • (2010) PhD International Development, London School of Economics
  • (2001) Diploma (Master’s equivalent) in Political Science and International Relations, University of Leipzig, Germany
  • (1998) Certificate, International Relations, Institute d'Etudes Politiques, Paris


Research interests

  • Poverty, growth, inequality
  • Institutions and Economic History
  • Political economy of development

Selected publications

  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2019.New Middle Classes Reshape the Developing WorldCurrent History,118 (804), Global Trends:16Link
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge; Sumner, Andy

    2018.The Developing World’s “New Middle Classes”: Implications for Political ResearchPerspectives on Politics,16(1):127-140Link
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2015.Kicking Away the Ladder? Poverty Reduction and Public Support for RedistributionSocio-Economic Review (published on-line November 2015),doi: 10.1093/ser/mwv027Link
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2015.Long-Term Consequences of Colonial Institutions and Human Capital Investments: Sub-National Evidence from MadagascarWorld Development,66:293–307Link
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2015.Who is Poorest? An Asset-Based Analysis of Multidimensional WellbeingDevelopment Policy Review,33, issue 1:33–59Link
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2015.Pathways from Jobs to Social CohesionWorld Bank Research Observer,30, issue 1:95-123Link
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge.2014.Historical Origins of Uneven Service Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Role of Non-State ProvidersJournal of Development Studies,50, issue 12:1614-1630Link
  • Wietzke, Frank Borge; Faguet, Jean-Paul

    2006.Social Funds and Decentralisation: Optimal Institutional Designin: Public Administration and Development,26, issue 4:303-315Link