Nigel Harris is an independent economic consultant, Professor Emeritus of the Economics of the City at the University of London. He was on the full-time staff of the Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College London (UCL), for 28 years and Director (1982-89).

Nigel has worked in much of the developing world (but particularly India, east and south-east Asia, Mexico and Colombia) for governments, international agencies and private consultancies.

His areas of expertise are in:
  • domestic and international migration;
  • city economies and development in developing countries; and
  • industrial, development and labor economics.
He was consultant to the World Bank (1999/2000), working on the design of City Development Strategies (CDS, subsequently Cities Alliance) and research on urbanization and the garment industry (Egypt, India, Bangladesh, China). He was in charge of the economic component of the CDS for Haiphong (Vietnam) and Cali (Colombia), for drawing up terms of reference for CDS for three cities of Iran (2006).

He has contributed to numerous World Bank training courses (Toronto, Jaipur, Brasilia) and drew up the economic component of a strategy for Yogjakarta (Padco). Most recently, he contributed to the conceptual framework paper for a Bank research project on four cities of Latin America (2007).

Nigel was also Senior Policy Consultant (on immigration) to the European Policy Centre, Brussels, and Chairman of the Migration Commission of the Royal Society of Arts, Industry etc. (Report: Migration, a Welcome Opportunity (2005)). He evaluated, together with Professor Patrick Wakely, the first three years work of the Cities Alliance (Washington, 2003); and with, Professor Peter Townroe, the major research project of the UK Economic and Social Research Council (Cities: Competitiveness and Cohesion (2003)).

Nigel has been visiting professor at the Universities of California (Los Angeles), Hong Kong, Keio (Tokyo), and the American University in Cairo.

He has numerous published works: books, papers, articles and reports.

During 2012, he gave lectures on “The making and unmaking of a ruling class party (the British Conservative party)” to the Association of Socialist Historians, Institute of Historical Research, on 26th February and on “The first Commonwealth Immigration Act - fifty years on” at the School of Oriental and African Studies/Migrant Rights Network/Royal Commonwealth Society, Ramphal Centre for Commonwealth Studies. He appeared on the Panel on Immigration, Commonwealth Press Association, House of Commons, 20 June and on the Scientific Committee in preparation for International Conference, Urban Change in Iran, UCL (Institute for Risk and Disaster Management) Nov.8-9. He continues to organise a monthly Talking Shop (now starting its third year) on selected world affairs, involving mainly retired academics and journalists.

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