Imperial College London


Business School

Chair in Economics



+44 (0)20 7594 9128j.sefton Website CV




3.0853 Prince's GateSouth Kensington Campus





James Sefton is currently a Professor of Economics at Imperial College Business School.

James is the Principal Investigator on the ESRC funded project ‘Changes in the Distribution of Resources across Generations in both the UK and the US’, Academic Director of both Investment and Wealth Management (IWM) and Finance and Accounting (F&A) MScs and Co-director of the Financial Technology MSc.

He was previously Principal Scientist at the hedge fund ‘Winton Capital Management’, and Head of Global Quantitative Research at UBS Investment Bank.

His economic research agenda focuses on questions about intergenerational equity, pension policy design and long run trends in the housing market. As a quantitative finance researcher, he is interested in the design of both quantitative investment strategies and retirement investment products.

Recent Work on the State of the Universities Pension Scheme:

Two recent papers - joint work with David Miles - analyse the risk inherent in the Universities pensions scheme (the USS). The first measures the risk implicit with the USS scheme  can be accessed here.

The second paper outlining a way forward out of the current impasse with the USS is available here.  

A Financial Times article outlines the main conclusions of the analysis. You can see that article here

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

McCarthy D, Sefton J, Lee R, et al., 2022, Generational Wealth Accounts: did public and private inter-generational transfers offset each other over the financial crisis?, Economic Journal, Vol:132, ISSN:0013-0133, Pages:2412-2437

Mason A, Lee R, Sefton J, 2022, Six ways population change will affect the global economy, Population and Development Review, Vol:48, ISSN:0098-7921

Miles D, Sefton J, 2021, House prices and growth with fixed land supply, Economic Journal, Vol:131, ISSN:0013-0133, Pages:1815-1848

Scowcroft A, Sefton J, 2005, Understanding momentum, Financial Analysts Journal, Vol:61, ISSN:0015-198X, Pages:64-82

McCarthy D, Lee R, Sefton JA, et al., 2017, Full generational accounts: what do we give to the next generation?, Population and Development Review, Vol:43, ISSN:0098-7921, Pages:695-720

Lee R, Mason A, members of the NTA Network, 2014, Is low fertility really a problem? Population aging, dependency, and consumption., Science, Vol:346, ISSN:1095-9203, Pages:229-234

Sefton J, van de Ven J, 2009, Optimal Design of Means Tested Retirement Benefits*, Economic Journal, Vol:119, ISSN:0013-0133, Pages:F461-F481

Sefton JA, Van de Ven J, Weale M, 2008, Means Testing Retirement Benefits: Fostering Equity or Discouraging Savings?, Economic Journal, Vol:118, Pages:556-590

Kirsanova T, Sefton JA, 2007, A comparison of national saving rates in the UK, US and Italy, European Economic Review, Vol:51, Pages:1998-2028

Sefton, J., Weale, M., 2006, The concept of income in a general equilibrium, Review of Economic Studies, Vol:73, ISSN:0034-6527, Pages:219-249

Dutta, J., Sefton, J.A., Weale, M.R., 2001, Income distribution and income dynamics in the United Kingdom, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Vol:16, ISSN:0883-7252, Pages:599-19 pages

Gokhale, J., Kotlikoff, L.J., Sefton, J., et al., 2001, Simulating the transmission of wealth inequality via bequests, Journal of Public Economics, Vol:79, ISSN:0047-2727, Pages:93-128

Cardarelli R, Sefton J, Kotlikoff LJ, 2000, Generational Accounting in the UK., The Economic Journal, Vol:110

Sefton, J.A., Cardarelli, R., Agulnik, P., 2000, The UK pensions green paper: A generational accounting perspective, Economic Journal

Sefton, J.A., 2000, Solution method for consumption decisions in a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model, Journal of Economic, Dynamics and Control

Sefton, J.A., Weale, M., 1996, The net national produce and exhaustible resources: The effects of foreign trade, Journal of Public Economics, Pages:21-47

Ober, R.J., Sefton, J.A., 1994, Properties of optimally robust controllers, International Journal of Control

Sefton, J.A., Ober, R.J., 1993, Uncertainty in the weighted gap metric: A geometric approach, Automatica, Vol:29, Pages:1079-1100

Sefton, J.A., Ober, R.J., 1992, Hankel norm approximations and control systems, Linear Algebra and Its Applications, Vol:205, Pages:1081-1020

Glover, K., Sefton, J.A., 1990, Pole-zero cancellations in the general H-infinity problem, Systems and Control Letters, Vol:14

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