Christopher R. Udry

Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics
Yale University

Christopher Udry, Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics, is one of the foremost American economists specializing in African development.

He is also director of Yale's Economic Growth Center, which is dedicated to understanding the economic development process within low-income countries, and how it is affected by trade and financial relations between developing and developed countries.


Udry's approach to economic research has been described as "a kind of economic anthropology" by Yale professor emeritus David Apter, who also held the Heinz chair. As a Yale Ph.D. student, Udry traveled to Zaria, Nigeria, where he conducted a year-long survey of individual households that resulted in his dissertation "Rural Credit in Nigeria." He has studied various aspects of Africa's agricultural financial markets -- including the role of gender and social learning -- as well as informal markets and resource management in African nations.

He is co-author of "Development Microeconomics" with Pranab Bardhan, and the two scholars co-edited the two-volume work "Readings in Development Micro-economics."

Udry's research has been supported by numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, as well as from the World Bank, the Institute for Policy Reform and the Pew Charitable Trusts, among others.

Udry earned a B.A. with high honors in 1981 from Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. from Yale in 1991.