Leonard Wantchekon is the founding director of the Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy, which is based in Benin. He is a Professor of Politics and an affiliate of the Economics Department at Princeton University.
Prof. Wantchekon taught at Yale University (1995–2001) and New York University (2001 -2011). He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University (1995) and his M.A. in Economics from Laval University and the University of British Columbia (1992). Prof. Wantchekon’s research interests include democratization, clientelism and redistributive politics, resource curse, the long-term social impact of historical events, and development economics. His work has been featured in many top publications, such as American Economic Review and The Quarterly Journal of Economics. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the founder of the African School of Economics. From 2008 – 2009, he was the Secretary of the American Political Science Association. Wantchekon is also a core partner in the Afrobarometer Network. In November 2018 he became the first black African to be pronounced Fellow of the Econometric Society.