Alex Trew

Adam Smith Business School
University of Glasgow, Glasgow.

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2004-07, University of St Andrews, PhD Economics, Thesis Title: 'Towards the Microfoundations of Finance and Growth', Supervisors: Charles Nolan and Gary Shea, Examiners: John Driffill; David Ulph.

2003-04, University of Warwick, MSc Economics.

2000-03, University of Durham, BA Economics, First Class (Hons.).

Positions held

2019-, Professor in Economics, University of Glasgow.

2017-19, Senior Lecturer, University of St Andrews.

2007-17, Lecturer, University of St Andrews.


2023-, Fellow, CESifo.

2023-, Fellow, IZA.

2016-, Fellow, Higher Education Academy (Advance HE).

2004-, Research Affiliate/Associate, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.

Research interests

Economic growth; economic geography; economic history; financial development.


RePEc page

Radek Stefanski and Alex Trew, 'Selection, Patience, and the Interest Rate', Journal of Political Economy Macroeconomics, 2024, 2(1):149-81, paper; working paper version.

Muscatelli, Anton, Graeme Roy and Alex Trew, 'Persistent States: lessons for Scottish devolution and independence', National Institute Economic Review, 2023 (Spring):51-63, paper; working paper version.

Khomba, Dan and Alex Trew, 'Aid and Local Growth in Malawi', Journal of Development Studies, 2022, 58(8):1478-1500, paper.

Heblich, Stephan, Alex Trew and Yanos Zylberberg, 'East Side Story: Historical Pollution and Persistent Neighborhood Sorting’, Journal of Political Economy, 2021, 129(5):1508-52, paper. TED talk. Cheddar video. Guardian article. WSJ podcast. econimate video. The Economist. Freakonomics Radio.

Trew, Alex, 'Endogenous Infrastructure Development and Spatial Takeoff in the First Industrial Revolution', American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 2020, 12(2):44-93, paper. AEA Research Highlight.

Heblich, Stephan and Alex Trew, 'Banking and Industrialization', Journal of the European Economic Association, 2019, 17(6):1753–1796, paper.

Nolan, Charles and Alex Trew, 'Transaction Costs and Institutions', The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics (Contributions), 2015, 15(2):391-432, paper.

Trew, Alex, 'Spatial Takeoff in the First Industrial Revolution', Review of Economic Dynamics, 2014, 17:707-25, paper, MATLAB code.

Trew, Alex, 'Finance and Balanced Growth', Macroeconomic Dynamics, 2014, 18(4):883-98, paper.

Trew, Alex, 'Contracting Institutions and Development', Review of Economics and Institutions, 2012, 3(3), paper.

Trew, Alex, 'Infrastructure Finance and Industrial Takeoff in England', Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 2010, 42(6):985-1010, paper.

Trew, Alex, 'Efficiency, Depth and Growth: Quantitative Implications of Finance and Growth Theory', Journal of Macroeconomics, 2008, 30(4):1550-68, paper.

Trew, Alex, 'Finance and Growth: A Critical Survey', Economic Record, 2006, 82(259):481-90, paper.

Working papers

Stephan Heblich, David Nagy, Alex Trew and Yanos Zylberberg, 'The Death and Life of Great British Cities', working paper.

Hans-Joachim Voth, Bruno Caprettini and Alex Trew, ⓡ, 'Fighting for Growth: Labor Scarcity and Technology Adoption during the British Industrial Revolution', Adam Smith Business School Discussion Paper 2022-15, working paper. The Economist. FAZ.

Trew, Alex, 'Institutions and the Scale Effect', 2009, CDMA Working Paper 0906, working paper.

PhD students

Dan Khomba, 2013-17, Essays on Aid and Growth. First job: Scottish Fiscal Commission.

Nikolay Chernyshev, 2015-18, Essays on Endogenous Growth Theory. First job: University of Bristol.


Development Policy Review, Economic Inquiry, Economic Journal, European Economic Review, Explorations in Economic History, Fiscal Studies, International Economic Review, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Journal of Economic Growth, Journal of Economic History, Journal of Regional Science, Macroeconomic Dynamics, Manchester School, Oxford University Press (book review) Palgrave Macmillan (book review), Scottish Journal of Political Economy.

Research funding

2015-18, $95,000, Institute for New Economic Thinking, "Transport Infrastructure, Long-Run Development and Policy: Evidence from England and Wales, c.1817 to 2011", joint with Stephan Heblich.

2015, £4,831, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics, for Workshop on Structural Transformation, joint with Radek Stefanski.

2015, £5,000, Royal Economic Society Special Project Grant for Workshop on Structural Transformation, joint with Radek Stefanski.

2012, £750, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics, conference travel.

2011, £7,875, funding for Workshop on Economic Growth, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics.

2006-08, £131,500 (non fEC) from Shell Foundation: 'Private Sector Finance and the Support of Infrastructure as a Source of Economic Growth', joint with Charles Nolan and Gary Shea.

2004-06, £26,400 from CDMA: Full PhD Studentship.



Economic Geography (Honours).

Economic History (Honours).


Advanced Macroeconomics (Junior Honours).

Central Banking (MSc).

Contemporary Issues: Institutions; Financial Regulation (Senior Honours).

Econometrics (Junior/Senior Honours).

Economic Analysis: Growth theory (Senior Honours).

Economic Fundamentals and Financial Markets (MSc).

Economic Growth (Honours).

Financial Intermediation (MSc).

Money and Banking (MSc).

Administrative service

Main roles

2023-27, External Examiner, University of Bristol.

2023-26, Scottish Economic Society, council member.

2020-24, External Examiner, Heriot Watt University.

2020-23, MRes Economics, director.

2017-19, School Ethics Committee, chair.

2017-19, External Examiner, University of Glasgow.

2015-17, Deputy Director of Teaching.

2014-19, Sub-Honours Advisor (Faculty of Science).

2012-13, Director of MSc Money, Banking and Finance (maternity cover).

Committees and Panels

2016, Computing Officer, panel member.

2016, Teaching Fellow recruitment, panel member.

2015-16, Junior Job Market hiring committee.

2015-17, School Teaching Committee.

2014-17, School Ethics Committee, member.

2012-13, School Teaching Committee (maternity cover).


2017-19, Library Liaison for School.

2015, Co-Organizer, Workshop on Structural Transformation.

2011, Co-Organizer, SIRE/CDMA Workshop in Economic Growth.

2010-12, School seminar organiser.

2010-11, Associate Examiner, University of London International Programmes.

2008, Organizer, 2nd St Andrews Workshop in Applied Microeconomics.

2008, Co-Organizer, SIRE Forum for Young Researchers.

2004-10, CDMA Webmaster.