People Feature

Jacob Nyrup

DPhil student
DPhil in Politics

Research Interests: Comparative politics and political economy.

I am a DPhil student in Politics at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, and a PhD Researcher at the ERC funded project WEALTHPOL. Furthermore, I am teaching quantitative methods at the Oxford Q-Step Centre.

My research interests lie within the field of comparative politics and political economy. In my thesis, I examine why authoritarian regimes vary so dramatically in terms of their ability to produce ‘better’ levels of economic development. I look at three aspects of economic development; economic growth, income and wealth inequality, and policy outputs such as literacy and infant mortality. Based on game theory, I provide a theoretical framework with which to explore this variation. The model argues that we should think about the incentives structure for dictators, in particular the types of constraints they might face from two types of actors; the elites they are competing with and the masses whom they rule over. I test my hypothesis through both a cross-national empirical analysis, which will present new data on authoritarian regimes, and two country focused studies. In the country-specific studies, I look at the effect of revolutions in post-Soviet countries on economic development and how the fall of the Soviet Union impacted Cuba’s political elite.

In addition to my research on authoritarian regimes, I am doing research as a part of the WEALTHPOL project, where professor Ben Ansell is the Principal Investigator. The project examines political causes and consequences of wealth inequality across the industrialised world. I am especially looking at the trends in wealth inequality and how governments shape the pattern of wealth through political pledges and policymaking.

Before I started on my doctorate I was working as a management consultant for the public sector in Denmark, where I especially focused on the social sector. I have obtained a MSc (with distinction) in Political Economy and Political Science from London School of Economics and a MSc in Political Science from University of Copenhagen.

My stay at University of Oxford is supported by ERC, Jorcks Rejsestipendium, Knud Højgaards Fond, Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond, Augustinus Fonden, Frimodt-Heineke Fonden and Laurits Andersens Fond.


Jacob Nyrup