Haroon Bhorat is a nonresident senior fellow in the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative. He is professor of economics and director of the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. His research interests cover labor economics, poverty, and income distribution. He has co-authored and co-edited a number of books on labor market and poverty issues in Africa. Bhorat has published more than 200 academic journal articles, book chapters, and working papers. In September 2019, Haroon was nominated to sit on the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC), established by President Ramaphosa to generate new ideas for economic growth, job creation, and addressing poverty.
Bhorat has his doctorate in economics through Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a Cornell University research fellow. He holds the highly prestigious National Research Chair under the theme of Economic Growth, Poverty and Inequality: Exploring the Interactions for South Africa. In October 2020, he was elected as a fellow of the University of Cape Town (UCT) College of Fellows. The fellowship is awarded for original, distinguished academic work that merits special recognition. In 2018, he was appointed by UCT Vice-Chancellor Prof. Phakeng as the university’s “SDG academic focal point” to help guide UCT’s strategic approach to engagement with the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. His commitments at UCT include lecturing advanced labor economics (hons), and supervision to honors, masters, and doctoral students.
Bhorat is a research fellow at IZA, the Institute for the Study of Labour in Bonn, and an honorary research fellow at the Human Sciences Council (HSRC). He sits on the editorial advisory board of the World Bank Economic Review and is a board member of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER). He previously sat on the HSRC board.
Bhorat consults with international organizations such as the International Labor Organization, the U.N. Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank, ratings agencies, and emerging market fund managers. He sits on the advisory board of the UNDP’s 2019 Human Development Report, was a member of the World Bank’s advisory board of the Commission on Global Poverty, as well as a member of the program committee of the 2017 International Economic Association (IEA) World Congress. He is a member on the advisory committee of the joint United Nations and World Bank Policy Study on the role of Development in the Prevention of Violent Conflict. He is also a member of the U.N./World Health Organization’s High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth. Haroon previously served as a member of the U.N. Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (LEP) and was head of research for the U.N.’s High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Bhorat has undertaken extensive work for several South African government departments—most notably the South African Department of Labour, the presidency, and the National Treasury. He was appointed as an adviser on the South African Parliament’s High Level Panel on Acceleration of Change and Transformation. He served as an economic advisor to two past ministers of finance including Min. Pravin Gordhan, and previous Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, formally serving on the Presidential Economic Advisory Panel.
For more information, please visit his UCT page.
Areas of Expertise
- Labor economics
- Job Creation
- Labor Policy
- Social Policy
- Income Distribution
- Global Development
- Developing Countries
- Emerging Markets
- Millennium Development Goals
- Director, Development Policy Research Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa
- Professor, School of Economics, University of Cape Town, South Africa
- Research Fellow, IZA Institute of Labor Economics, Bonn
- Advisory Board Member: UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)
- Honorary Research Fellow, Human Sciences Council (HSRC)
- Board Member, National Research Foundation (NRF)
- Advisory Committee Member, Joint United Nations and World Bank Policy Study on the role of Development in the Prevention of Violent Conflict
- Member, United Nations/World Health Organization’s High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth
- Adviser on the South African Parliament’s High Level Panel on Acceleration of Change and Transformation
- World Bank’s Advisory Board Member: Commission on Global Poverty
- Program Committee Member: 2017 International Economic Association (IEA) World Congress, World Bank Group
- Economic Advisor to Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, formally serving on the Presidential Economic Advisory Panel
- Economic Advisor to South African Ministers of Finance
- Head of Research, Secretariat to the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons to the Post-2015 MDG Agenda, UNDP, New York
- Member: Expert Working Group 3, Labour Rights & Legal Empowerment, High Level Commission for Legal Empowerment of the Poor, United Nations
- Member and Developing Country Chair: Technical Advisory Group for Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Labour Markets, Job Creation and Economic Growth, World Bank
- Minister’s Appointee, Employment Conditions Commission, Department of Labour
- Minister’s Appointee, Statistics Council, Statistics South Africa
- Non-Executive Director, Sygnia Asset Management
- Director on the Board of the Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (WESGRO)
- Ph.D. in Economics (2003), Stellenbosch University, South Africa
- Coursework Component of Master of Economics (1992), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Masters of Economics (1996), Stellenbosch University, South Africa
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (1991), University of Cape Town, South Africa