Marlous van Waijenburg

Marlous van Waijenburg is an economic historian interested in the historical roots of relative African poverty, and specifically in the economic legacies of colonialism. Her work has focused on comparative and long-term analyses of African economic development, governance institutions, material living standards, and labor markets, and is methodologically situated at the intersection of African history, comparative history, and development studies.

Her dissertation, titled "Financing the Colonial African State: Forced Labor and Fiscal Capacity," explores African colonial state building efforts through the lens of fiscal capabilities. Between 2014-2016, she was a Presidential Fellow at Northwestern University. Starting in the Fall of 2017, she will be a postdoctoral scholar and member of the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan.


  • (2018) “Africa Rising? A Historical Perspective.” African Affairs (forthcoming with Ewout Frankema)
  • (2018) “Financing the African Colonial State: The Revenue Imperative and Forced Labor.” The Journal of Economic History (forthcoming)
  • (2014) “Metropolitan Blueprints of Colonial Taxation? Lessons from Fiscal Capacity Building in British and French Africa, 1880-1940.” The Journal of African History 55(3): 371-400 (with Ewout Frankema)
  • (2012) “Structural Impediments to African Growth? New Evidence from Real Wages in British Africa, 1880-1965.” The Journal of Economic History 72(4): 895-926 (with Ewout Frankema)
    • Recipient of the Economic History Association's Arthur Cole Prize for 'best article in The Journal of Economic History in 2012'
    • Recipient of the Wageningen School of Social Sciences Publication Award for 'best article published in the social sciences in 2012'