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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., Winer, S. L. and Zhang, P. Franchise extension and fiscal structure in the United Kingdom 1820-1913: A new test of the Redistribution Hypothesis, Cliometrica vol 16 (2022) pp. 547-574
Aidt, T. S. Review of Forging the Franchise: The Political Origins of the Women's Vote, Journal of Economic Literature vol 60 no. 3 (2022) pp. 1039-1051
Aidt, T. S., Davenport, R. and Grey, F. New Perspectives on the Contribution of Sanitary Investments to Mortality Decline in English Cities, 1845–1909, Economic History Review vol 76(2) (2023) pp. 624-660
Aidt, T. S., Leon, G. and Max Satchell The Social Dynamics of Collective Action: Evidence from the Diffusion of the Swing Riots, The Journal of Politics vol 84 no. 1 (2022) pp. 209-225
Aidt, T. S., Albornoz, F. and Hauk, E. Foreign Influence and Domestic Policy, Journal of Economic Literature vol 59 no. 2 (2021) pp. 426-487
Aidt, T. S. and Leon, G. The Interaction of Structural Factors and Diffusion in Social Unrest: Evidence from the Swing Riots, British Journal of Political Science vol 52(2) (2022) pp. 869-885
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., Grey, F. and Savu, A. The Meaningful Votes: Voting on Brexit in the British House of Commons, Public Choice vol 186 (2020) pp. 587–617

Cambridge Working Papers in Economics

Aidt, T., Lacroix, J., Meon, P-G. The Origins of Elite Persistence: Evidence from Political Purges in post-World War II France, (2022) CWPE2232
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

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

Million pound grant to study Sanitation and Health
Academics at the University of Cambridge have been awarded a million pound grant by the ESRC to study Water, Sanitation and Health in the first industrial society: Britain 1780-1930
Published on - Thursday 28th September 2023

Best Paper Award for Dr Toke Aidt
A University of Cambridge academic along with two international collaborators has been awarded the Oliver Williamson Best Paper Award, for research that examines democratic purges in post-World War II France.
Published on - Friday 1st September 2023

J M Keynes Fellowship Fund Lectures 2023
The Managers of the J M Keynes Fellowship Fund proudly present an evening of special lectures. Toke Aidt and Oğuzhan Karakas will talk about "Suffrage and revolution: The political economy of the Great Reform Act 1832" and "To vote or not to vote: Corporate voting and ESG engagements". See the event page to register your interest.
Published on - Monday 5th June 2023

Keynes Fund Celebrates 10 years
A decade of the Keynes Fund was celebrated with their nineth annual Research Day. Which featured a diverse collection of research papers presented, from funded projects.
Published on - Tuesday 6th December 2022

Nobel Prize in Economics and The Keynes Fund
Director of the Keynes Fund, Dr Toke Aidt congratulates Ben Bernanke, Douglas Diamond and Philip Dybvig, for winning the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences 2022. The Keynes Fund provides generous grants for work in the subject area of policies that prevent financial crises.
Published on - Tuesday 11th October 2022

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., Winer, S. L. and Zhang, P., 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)
Shvets, J. and Aidt, T., Private Provision of Public Goods and Group Dynamics: The Case of COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing (JHVE)
Krieger, T. and Aidt, T., Social Identity and Public Policy (JHVG)
Aidt, T., Cavalcanti, T. and Rauh, C., The Political Economy of Forest Loss (JHWC)


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


Laura Araújo De Freitas
PhD Title:
Research: Development Economics, Game Theory, Political Economy and Economic History
Carles Vila Martínez
PhD Title:
Research: Political Economy, Economic History, Media Economics


Rebecca Heath
PhD Title:
Research: Image Concerns and Online Social Networks
Kishen Shastry
PhD Title:
Research: Traditional and Informal Institutions, Development Economics, Network Economics, Economics of Religion
Christian Höhne
PhD Title:
Research: Experimental Economics, Political Economy, and Labor Economics
Qianya Xu
PhD Title:
Research: Empirical Microeconomics and 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

Reader in Economics
Director of the Keynes Fund

Research Group:
Empirical Microeconomics
Economic History

Expertise: Corruption

CV: Curriculum Vitae

Contact Details
Room: 21
Office Hours: On Sabbatical Leave Lent and Easter 2023
College: Fellow of Jesus College