Alan Hirsch

Research Fellow


Cape Town, South Africa



Alan Hirsch was born in Cape Town and educated at UCT, Wits and Columbia.

Taught at UCT, joined the SA Department of Trade and Industry in 1995, from 2002 to 2012 he managed economic policy in the South African Presidency.

He serves on the Board of the European Centre for Development Policy Management and on President Ramaphosa’s Economic Advisory Council.

He was visiting scholar at the Harvard Business School, regular visiting professor at Maastricht University, IGC research director in Zambia, OECD Inclusive Growth Advisory Panel-member, on the International Advisory Board of the New Development Bank, Bradlow Fellow at the SA Institute for International Affairs and was a Fellow of the Oxford Martin School, Oxford University. His work includes Season of Hope: Economic Reform under Mandela and Mbeki and The Oxford Companion to South African Economics. He is also a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London.

    Academic Articles
    • Alan Hirsch ‘Industrial transformation, regional integration and the African political economy’ chapter in Basani Baloyi, Seeraj Mohamed and Amuzweni Ngoma (editors) Evolution of the Structure of the South African Economy, Johannesburg: Mistra, 2022. (Forthcoming)
    • Alan Hirsch and Victor Amadi, ‘Can Africa accelerate initiatives towards the freer movement of Africans in Africa?’ chapter in Joseph Atta-Mensah, Stephen Karingi and Francis Mangeni (eds) Existential Priorities for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, UNECA, Addis Ababa.
    • Alan Hirsch, Chapter 11 ‘The role of State-Owned Enterprises in development in South Africa’ in Haroon Bhorat, Greg Mills and Mcebisi Jonas (editors), Better Choices for South Africa, 2022, Johannesburg; Brenthurst Foundation, 2022.
    • Alan Hirsch “Political Economy of Policymaking in South Africa since 1994” Chapter 4 in Arkebe Oqubay, Fiona Tregenna and Imraan Valodia (editors) Oxford Handbook on the South African Economy, Oxford: OUP, 2021
    Opinion Articles
    • Alan Hirsch, Migration policy in South Africa — how should we be thinking about it? Daily Maverick, 3 October , 2022, (https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/author/alan-hirsch/)
    • Alan Hirsch, For the first time since the global financial crisis, South Africa has an opportunity to master its economic fate, Daily Maverick, 31 January, 2022, (https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/author/alan-hirsch/)
    • Alan Hirsch, “South Africa has a new presidential advisory unit. Will it improve policy?” The Conversation, 17 May, 2019
    • Alan Hirsch “Did South Africa’s Investment Summit mark a Game-Changing moment?” The Conversation, 29 October 2018
    • Alan Hirsch, “South Africa won’t create jobs unless it settles on a new social compact”, The Conversation, 11 October 2018
    • Alan Hirsch, “The free movement of people is an AU ambition; what’s standing in its way?”, The Conversation 30 July 2018
    • Alan Hirsch, “How young activists are keeping Mandela’s legacy alive across Africa”, The Conversation 11 July 2018
    • Alan Hirsch, “Ramaphosa’s economic to do list: Seven economic policy areas that will shift the dial” The Conversation, 5 April 2018
    Case Studies
    • Alan Hirsch, Thokozani Chilenga-Butao, and Florencia Belvedere, Policy in the Time of Pandemic: Social Transfers in South Africa during the Coronavirus National Lockdown, May – October 2020, UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, 2022 (Case Study)
  • Alan Hirsch

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