Léonce Ndikumana

Portrait of Leonce Ndikumana
Distinguished Professor & Director, African Development Policy Program, PERI
318 Gordon Hall



Ph.D., Economics, Washington University, May 1996
M.A., Economics, Washington University, December 1992
B.A., Economics (with Distinction), University of Burundi, June 1986

Professional Experience: 

Distinguished Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 2011-present
Director, African Development Policy program, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), 2011-present
Member of the United Nations Committee on Development Policy, 2013-2018
Member, Independent Commission on the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT), 2015-present
Honorary Professor of Economics, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2011-present
Honorary Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, 2017-present
Director, Department of Operational Resources and Policy, African Development Bank, 1-8/2011
Director, Department of Development Economics Research, African Development Bank, 2008-2010
Chief, Macroeconomic Policy Analysis, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), 2006-2008
Associate Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2002-2008
Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1996-2002
Visiting Fulbright Associate Professor, University of Cape Town, Department of Economics, 2003-2004
Director of Finance and Administration, University of Burundi, 1989-1990
Junior Lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Burundi, 1987-1990

Research Interests: 

Capital flight from sub-Saharan Africa: magnitudes, causes, and consequences
Macroeconomic policies in African countries: fiscal, monetary, and exchange rate policies
Financial intermediation and real economic activity
Capital flows, capital account and exchange rate regimes in African countries
Economics and politics of conflicts and civil wars in Africa
Post-conflict reconstruction, state building, and development in African countries
Natural resources and domestic resource mobilization


Macroeconomics, graduate and undergraduate
African economic development
Development Policy and International Cooperation
Money and Banking

Honors and Awards: 

Andrew Carnegie Fellow, 2021
Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award 2017
UMass Spotlight Scholar, 2013
UMass Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity, 2013
Dudley Seers Memorial Prize for the best article in Volume 38 of the Journal of Development Studies (article co-authored with James. K. Boyce)
College Outstanding Teacher Award, 2001-2002
Nominee for Distinguished Teacher Award, 1999, 2004 and 2016/2017

Professional Activities: 

  • Associate Editor, Journal of African Development
  • African Finance and Economics Association, member and past President (2005-2007)
  • American Economic Association, member
  • African Studies Association, member
  • African Econometrics Society, former Committee member


Fulbright Scholarship (Teaching/Research), 2003-2004 (Host Institution: University of Cape Town, Department of Economics)


Member, Board of Director of Village Health Works (Burundi) (www.villagehealthworks.org)
African Economic Research Consortium, Resource Person
African Finance and Economics Association, member and past President (2005-2007)
American Economic Association, member
African Studies Association, member
African Econometrics Society, former Committee member

Selected Publications: 

Naidoo, K. and L. Ndikumana (2023). The role of unit labor costs in African manufacturing investment and export performance. Review of Development Economics, Volume 27, Issue 3
Ndikumana, L., K. Naidoo, and F. Perez (2023). Can National Development Banks Help Alleviate the Shortage of Patient Investment Capital in Africa? Evidence from Bank-Level Panel Data. Journal of African Development 24(1),1-42. 
Ndikumana, L., J.D. Nkurunziza, M.E. Sanchez Martin, S. Mulugeta, and Z. Getachew Kelbore (2022). Monetary, Fiscal, and Structural Drivers of Inflation in Ethiopia : New Empirical Evidence from Time Series Analysis. Development Policy Review 27(2): 924-962.
Pickbourn, L., R. Caraher, and L. Ndikumana (2022). Does project-level foreign aid increase access to improved water sources?  Evidence from household panel data in Uganda. World Development, 158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2022.105994 
Ndikumana, L. and J.K. Boyce (2022). On the Trail of Capital Flight from Africa. The Takers and the Enablers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Erin Baker, Destenie Nock, Todd Levin, Samuel A. Atarah, Anthony Afful-Dadzie, David Dodoo-Arhin, Léonce  Ndikumana, Ekundayo Shittu, Edwin Muchapondwa, and Charles Van-Hein Sackey (2021). Who is marginalized in energy justice? Amplifying community perspectives of energy transitions in Ghana leader. Energy Research & Social Science, 73. https://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S2214-6296(21)00026-8
Wayoro, Didier and L. Ndikumana (2020). "Impact of Development Aid on Infant Mortality: Micro-level Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire", African Development Review, Vol 32, 432-445. (September 2020 advance online publication). http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8268.12450 
Ndikumana, L. and Mare Sarr (2019). Capital flight, foreign direct investment and natural resources in Africa. Resources Policy, Vol. 63 (October). Online access: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resourpol.2019.101427
Pickbourn, L. and L. Ndikumana (2018). Does Health Aid Reduce Infant and Child Mortality from Diarrhea in sub-Saharan Africa? Journal of International Development 55(10): 2212-31.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00220388.2018.1536264).

Ndikumana, L. and J.K. Boyce, “Debt and Capital Flight,” in K.A. Reinert (Ed.) (2017), Handbook of Globalization and Development. Edward Elgar.

Ndikumana, L. and Pickbourn, L. (2017) "The Impact of Foreign Aid Allocation on Access to Social Services in sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Water and Sanitation," World Development 90 (February): 1-04-114.

Ndikumana, L. (2016) "Implications of Monetary Policy for Credit and Investment in Sub-Saharan African Countries." Journal of African Development, 18 (2): 1-18.

Ndikumana, L. (2016). "The Role of Foreign Aid in Post‐Conflict Countries." in Arnim Langer and Graham K. Brown (Eds.) Building Sustainable Peace: Timing and Sequencing of Post-­‐Conflict Reconstruction and Peacebuilding. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chapter 9.

Ndikumana, L. (2016) "Causes and Effects of Capital Flight from Africa: Lessons from Case Studies. "African Development Review, Vol. 28, No. S1, 2–7.

Pickbourn, L. and L. Ndikumana (2016) "Impact of sectoral allocation of foreign aid on gender equity and human development." Journal of International Development, 28, 396–411

Ndikumana, Léonce and Theresa Mannah-Blankson, "Financing Domestic Investment in African Countries: Does the Source of Financing Matter?" Journal of African Development Vol. 17, no. 2, 19-48.

Ndikumana, L. (2015) "Integrated Yet Marginalized: Implications of globalization for African Development." African Studies Review, 58 (2), 7-28.

Ndikumana, L. (2015) "International Tax Cooperation and Implications of Globalization." In Alonso, J.A. and J.A. Ocampo (Eds.) Global Governance and Rules for the Post-2015 Era (pp. 73-105). New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

Ndikumana, L. (2015). Savings, Capital Flight, and African Development. In Lin, J. Y. and Monga, C. (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of Africa and Economics, Volume 2 (Chapter 9). Oxford: Oxford University Press

Ndikumana, L. (2015) Better global governance for a stronger Africa: A new era, a new strategy. In Ernesto Zedillo (Ed.) Africa at a Fork in the Road: Taking Off or Disappointment Once Again? (pp. 315-330). Yale Center for the Study of Globalization (eBook edition).

Ajayi, S. I. and Ndikumana, L. (Eds.) (2015), Capital Flight from Africa: Causes, Effects and Policy Issues.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ndikumana, L., Boyce, J. K. and Ndiaye, A. S. (2015). Capital Flight from Africa: Measurement and Drivers. In S. I. Ajayi and L. Ndikumana (Eds.), Capital Flight from Africa: Causes, Effects and Policy Issues. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 15-54.

Fofack, H. and Ndikumana, L. (2015). Capital flight and macroeconomic policy in Africa. In I. Ajayi and L. Ndikumana (Eds.), Capital Flight from Africa: Causes, Effects and Policy Issues. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 130-163.

Boyce, J. K. and Ndikumana, L. (2015). Strategies for addressing capital flight. In S. I. Ajayi and L. Ndikumana (Eds.), Capital Flight from Africa: Causes, Effects and Policy Issues. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 393-417.

Ndikumana, L. (2014) "Capital Flight and Tax Havens: Impact on Investment and Growth in Africa." Revue d'Economie du Développement, 2014/2 (English Issue), 99-124.

Ndikumana, L. (2014) "Fuite des capitaux et paradis fiscaux: Impact sur l'investissement et la croissance en Afrique." Revue d'Economie du Développement, 2014/2, vol. 22, 113-141.

La Dette Odieuse d’Afrique : Comment l’endettement et la fuite des capitaux ont saigné un continent (co-authored with James K. Boyce), Dakar: Amalion Publishing, 2013.

AFRICA’S ODIOUS DEBT: How Foreign Loans and Capital Flight Bled a Continent. London: Zed Books. Co-authored with James K. Boyce, 2011.

"New Estimates of Capital Flight from Sub-Saharan African Countries: Linkages with External Borrowing and Policy Options", co-authored with James K. Boyce. International Review of Applied Economics 25(2) 149-170, 2011.

"Measurement of Capital Flight: Methodology and Results for Sub-Saharan African Countries." African Development Review 22 (4), 471-481, 2010. co-authored with James K. Boyce.

"Africa’s counter-cyclical policy responses to the crisis." Journal of Globalization and Development (Symposium Edition), co-authored with Louis Kasekende and Zuzana Brixiova, Vol. 1(1), article 16, January 2010.

"Capital Flight Repatriation: Investigation of its Potential Gains for Sub-Saharan African Countries." Co-authored with Hypolite Fofack. African Development Review 22 (1), 4-22, 2010.

"The Linkages between FDI and Domestic Investment: Unravelling the Development Impact of Foreign Investment," co-authored with Sher Verick (UNECA), Development Policy Review 26 (6), 713-26, 2008.

"Can macroeconomic policy stimulate private investment in South Africa? New insights from aggregate and manufacturing sector-level evidence." Journal of International Development 20 (7), 869-87, 2008.

An Employment-Targeted Economic Program for South Africa. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing. Co-authored with Robert Pollin, Gerald Epstein, and James Heinz, 2006.

"Distributional conflict, the state and peace building in Burundi." The Round Table, 2005, vol. 94 (381), 413-427.

"Financial development, financial structure, and domestic investment: International evidence." Journal of International Money and Finance, 2005, vol. 24 (4), 651-673.

"Additionality of Debt Relief and Debt Forgiveness, and Implications for Future Development Financing." International Review of Economics and Finance, 2004, vol. 13, 325-340.

"Financial markets and economic development in Africa." In: Emmanuel Nnadozie (Ed.) African Economic Development, Academic Press, 2003, pp. 373-403.

"Public debts and public assets: Explaining capital flight from sub-Saharan African countries." Co-authored with James K. Boyce, World Development, 2003, vol. 31(1), 107-130.

"Is Africa a net creditor? New estimates of capital flight from severely indebted sub-Saharan African countries, 1970-1996," co-authored with James K. Boyce, Journal of Development Studies, 2001, vol. 38(2), 27-56. [Winner of the Dudley Seers Memorial Prize for best article]

"Towards a solution to violence in Burundi: A case for political and economic liberalization," Journal of Modern African Studies, 2000, vol. 38(3), 431-459.

"Financial determinants of domestic investment in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from panel data," World Development, 2000, vol. 28(2): 381-400.

"Congo’s odious debt: External borrowing and capital flight in Zaire," co-authored with James K. Boyce, Development and Change, 1998, vol. 29 (2), 195-217.

"Institutional failure and ethnic conflicts in Burundi," African Studies Review, 41(1), April 1998, 29-47.