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“I treasure the ‘Eureka’ moments”

Andreas Madestam is Associate Professor at the Department of Economics at Stockholm University. His research focuses on understanding the causes of poverty and how to improve the welfare of the poor.

He enjoys teaching at Stockholm University, thanks to the diverse backgrounds of the students, each bringing their own perspectives to the table.

What is it like being a teacher at SU?

“I’d say it’s fantastic, because we have great students from diverse backgrounds, from all over the world, in addition to Europe and Sweden. The students are also academically diverse, with a broad academic training, not only in economics, but social sciences more generally.”

What do you get out of being both a teacher and a researcher?

“The advantage for the students is that they get exposed to the latest research in class.

The students force me to sharpen my intuition and help me improve how I communicate research ideas

For my part, the students force me to sharpen my intuition and help me improve how I communicate research ideas. It is really an interactive and very motivating process.”

Describe your field of research!

“My research interests include economic development and political economics. For example, how does access to credit improve the lives of poor women in Bangladesh? How does state repression, such as the genocide in Cambodia, affect political beliefs and behaviour in today's society? What are the impacts of political protests in the US?”

Andreas Madestam by a tree.
Andreas Madestam Photo: Private

Does teaching affects your research?

“Given that the students that I meet have a diverse background, they bring different perspectives to the table that in turn enrich and broaden the scope of my own work.”

What impact can your research have on society?

“Every researcher would probably argue that they study something that is of great value. In my case, I would say that it is important to try to understand the causes of poverty and to improve the welfare of poor people.

I also think my work contributes (in some small way) to a better understanding of the link between politics and economics and the joint impact of these two areas on society. For example, do social movements, like ‘Fridays for Future’, have an impact on the wider society and if so, how?”

What are your views on having an international study environment?

“An international environment is key for facilitating the exchange of ideas, allowing us to experience and interact with people of different backgrounds. This is important socially as well as within teaching and research, for the students as well as the faculty.”

What would you say to a student considering studying at the Department of Economics at SU?

“I think Stockholm University offers a world-class environment, with a range of extraordinary teachers and researchers. In all the classes students can attend, they will have a chance to draw on this knowledge.

I think Stockholm University offers a world-class environment, with a range of extraordinary teachers and researchers

Also, I think Stockholm University offers an open and friendly environment that is conducive to the learning experience.”

Tell us something memorable from your work as a teacher/researcher at Stockholm University!

“I treasure the ‘Eureka’ moments! When I can see that the students have had a breakthrough and understood something new! Especially when this happens and they understand as a group!”

More about Andreas Madestam

Associate Professor at the Department of Economics at Stockholm University. Previously at Bocconi University in Milan. PhD in Economics from Stockholm School of Economics. Affiliate of Association of Swedish Development Economists, European Development Research Network, and Theoretical Research in Development Economics.

What are you teaching at Stockholm University?

“In the master’s programme, I teach Political Economics (and at the Ph.D. level, Development Economics). I also supervise students in their final thesis writing.

Apart from teaching and research, I spend my time raising three kids, teen twin boys and a teen daughter together with my wife. I’d say, essentially all my time off is spent with my family and our two dogs.”

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