Imperial College London


Business School

Chair in Economics



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




3.0853 Prince's GateSouth Kensington Campus





James Sefton has worked both in academia and industry; he is currently a Professor of Economics at Imperial, but was previous a Senior Quantitative Analyst at UBS Investment Bank.  As an academic, he participates in the current debate on intergenerational equity, as a financial analyst he specialises in understanding asset pricing anomalies and equity investment strategies.

His career has been equally eclectic. James qualified first as an Information Engineer, before studying for a Ph.D. in systems theory at Cambridge University.  His career as an economist began at the Department of Applied Economics, Cambridge University, and then at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research. He led a variety of projects including one to compile the first set of UK Generational Accounts (which now forms the basis of H.M. Treasury’s annual Long term Fiscal Sustainability Report), one funded by D.W.P. investigating the impact of the means-testing of pension benefits on early retirement, and another to build an equilibrium asset allocation model for the Inland Revenue.

He has published widely in areas as varied as computable general equilibrium modelling, national accounting, portfolio management and econometrics. In 2001 he was appointed to a Chair of Economics at Imperial College and became an Executive Director at UBS.


  • MSc and PhD from Cambridge University

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

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

More Publications