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Research Interests

Dr Aidt's research areas are Public Choice and Political Economics. His work focuses on four main themes: The causes and consequences of democratization; development and corruption; political business cycles; and the political economy of environmental policy.


Ph.D. from the University of Aarhus (1998); Editor of the European Journal of Political Economy; on the editorial board of Public Choice and Constitutional Political Economy; awarded the Wicksell Prize (1999) by the European Public Choice Society and the Pilkington Prize (2007) for excellence in teaching by the University of Cambridge. Past-president of the European Public Choice Society (2013-15) and a current member of the Syndicate of the Cambridge University Press. Director of Studies in Economics at Jesus College since 1998.

Recent Publications

Published Papers

Aidt, T. S., Hillman, A. and Liu, Q. Who takes bribes and how much? Evidence from the China Corruption Conviction Databank, World Development vol 133 no. 104985 (2020)
Aidt, T. S., Albornoz, F. and Hauk, E. Foreign Influence and Domestic Policy, Journal of Economic Literature, forthcoming (2020)
Aidt, T., Grey, F., Savu, A. The Meaningful Votes: Voting on Brexit in the British House of Commons, Public Choice, accepted (2020)
Aidt, T. S., Asatryan, Z., Badalyan, L. and Heinemann, F. Vote Buying or (Political) Business (Cycles) as Usual?, Review of Economics and Statistics vol 102 no. 3 (2020) pp. 409-425
Aidt, T. S. and Franck, R. What motivates and oligarchic elite to democratize? Evidence from the roll call vote on the Great Reform Act of 1832, Journal of Economic History vol 79(3) (2019) pp. 773-825

Cambridge Working Papers in Economics

Aidt, T., Winer, S., Zhang, P. Franchise extension and fiscal structure in the United Kingdom 1820-1913: A new test of the Redistribution Hypothesis, (2020) CWPE2008
Aidt, T., Grey, F., Savu, A. The Three Meaningful Votes: Voting on Brexit in the British House of Commons, (2019) CWPE1979
Aidt, T., Rauh, C. The Rise of the “No Party” in England, (2019) CWPE1977
Aidt, T. S., Albornoz, F. and Hauk, E. Foreign in influence and domestic policy: A survey, (2019) CWPE1928
Aidt, T. S., Leon, G. and Satchell, M. The Social Dynamics of Collective Action: Evidence from the Captain Swing Riots, 1830-31, (2017) CWPE1751

Chapter in Book

Aidt, T.S. Corruption, (2018) in the book: Oxford handbook of public choice - Oxford University Press
Aidt, T.S. and Leon, G. The coup: competition for office in authoritarian regimes, (2018) in the book: Oxford handbook of public choice - Oxford University Press
Aidt, T. S. Political economy of instrument choice, (2013) in the book: Encyclopedia of energy, natural resource, and environmental economics - Elsevier Science

Research Activities

Keynes Fund Research Day 2020 - Publication Date: 2020-01-29
The Keynes Fund will hold their 7th Research Day will take place on Wednesday 30th September 2020, between 1.00pm - 4.30pm. This will be a virtual event. Please see the Keynes Fund website for the programme, how to access the event and to register your interest.

Breaking the Brexit impasse with indicative votes in Parliament - Publication Date: 2019-03-25
The House of Commons may be called upon to hold indicative votes on different Brexit options this week. How should this be organized to achieve a fair, legitimate and democratic outcome? Dr. Toke Aidt, Professor Hamid Sabourian and Professor Jagjit Chadha propose a way to break the impasse.

How to Find Out What MPs Really Want - Publication Date: 2019-03-19
Dr. Toke Aidt, Professor Hamid Sabourian and Professor Jagjit Chadha have published an article for Prospect Magazine that looks into how a series of indicative votes could be used to break the Brexit deadlock in Parliament.

Breaking the Brexit impasse - Publication Date: 2019-01-11
Dr. Toke Aidt, Professor Hamid Sabourian and Professor Jagjit Chadha have published an article for VOXeu titled "Breaking the Brexit impasse: Achieving a fair, legitimate and democratic outcome", that looks at using a sequential voting system to make the democratic process fair to all views.

The New Malthusianism: A Symposium - Publication Date: 2018-10-18
On the occasion of the 220th anniversary of Thomas Malthus’ Essay on Population, a small workshop will be convened at his Cambridge College to consider more recent explorations of Malthus and Malthusianism. Dr. Toke Aidt and Professor Tim Swanson are organising the event on the 12th - 13th December 2018, in the Webb Library, Jesus College, Cambridge University. MAVA Foundation, Switzerland and INET-Cambridge will be sponsoring the event.

Research Grants

Democratic purges in post-World War II France: Was it all about separating the wheat from the chaff? (British Academy)
Riots And The Great Reform Act Of 1832 (British Academy)
International dimension of political regime dynamics (Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC))
Voting Rights And Public Policy (Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC))
Economic Policy and Political Myopia (Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC))

Keynes Fund Affiliation & Sponsored Projects

Director of the Keynes Fund

Aidt, T., Political Representation, Market Failure and Public Policy: A Long-run Study of the United Kingdom (JHOA)
Aidt, T., Shaw-Taylor, L. and Davenport, R., Market Failures and State Successes in Public Health and Highways 1830-1912 (JHOM)


PIIB Paper 1 - Michaelmas - Second Best Theory
PIIB Paper 1 - Lent - Social cost benefit and analysis
PIIB Paper 5 - Michaelmas - General-interest politics - Voting and elections
PIIB Paper 5 - Michaelmas - Special-interest politics: Bargaining, Lobbying & Corruption
PIIB Paper 5 - Lent - Institutions & Public Policy
PIIB Paper 7 - Lent - Environmental Regulation
E100 - Microeconomics

PhD Students


Su-Min Lee
PhD Title: Elections, Economic Policy, and Political Representation
Alexandru Savu
PhD Title: Political causes of reform ineffectiveness in non-advanced economies
Research: Empirical Political and Development Economics


Emile Marin
PhD Title: The Hegemon's Dilemma : Intertemporal terms of trade manipulation and expenditure-switching.
Oliver Exton
PhD Title: Firms and Workers in International Trade
Research: International trade, International economics, Trade policy, Labour economics
Sarah Nelson
Affiliation: (Department of Engineering): Material demand reduction.
Research: Environmental Economics and Political Economy
Sam van Noort
Affiliation: Centre of Development Studies (CDS)
Research: Economic Development in Comparative Perspective

Dr Toke Aidt

University Reader
Director of the Keynes Fund

Research Group:
Empirical Microeconomics
Economic History

Expertise: Corruption

CV: Curriculum Vitae

Contact Details
Room: 21
Office Hours: Mondays 12-1pm
College: Fellow of Jesus College