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

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

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 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

More Publications