Lipton was born in 1937 and educated at Haberdashers' School,
London, Balliol College, Oxford, and the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology. He is B.A., M.A. (Oxford) and D. Litt. (Sussex).
He was a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, in 1961-8 and 1983-4.
of his career has been at Sussex
University, starting as one of seven teacher-researchers in
its first year, 1961-2. He was Reader, then Professorial Fellow,
at the Institute of Development Studies in 1967-94. He has supervised
22 successful doctoral students. In the 1970s he headed a comparative
analysis of village studies from developing countries, leading to
books on migration (by John Connell, Biplab Dasgupta, Roy Laishley
and himself), labour use (Biplab Dasgupta), and nutrition (Sue Schofield).
In the 1980s he worked with Martin Greeley on post-harvest grain
loss in India and Bangladesh. Since 1994 he has been Research Professor
at Sussex University's Poverty Research Unit, which he founded.
With this unit, he has contributed to UN Human Development Reports
on poverty, globalisation and technology; to the World Bank's 2000/2001
World Development Report on poverty; to the Asian Development
Bank's Emerging Asia (1997); and, as Lead Scholar, to the
International Fund for Agricultural Development's 2001 Rural
Poverty Report. His research stresses poverty impacts of: urban-rural
and state-market linkages; farm technology and science; nutrition
economics; land reform; aid; and population change. Countries of
work include Bangladesh, Botswana, India, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka
and S Africa.
books include Why Poor People Stay Poor: Urban Bias and World
Development (1977, 1988); New Seeds and Poor People (with
Richard Longhurst, 1989); Does Aid Work in India? (with
John Toye, 1991); and Successes in Anti-poverty (1998, 2001).
His papers include 'Balanced and unbalanced growth', Economic
Journal, 1962; 'The theory of the optimising peasant', Journal
of Development Studies, 1969; 'Rural development and
retention of the rural population', Canadian Journal of Development
Studies, 1982; 'Poverty, undernutrition and hunger' (World Bank,
1983, 1988); 'Family, fungibility and formality: rural advantages
of the non-farm enterprise', in S. Amin (ed.), Human Resources,
Employment and Development (1984); 'The state-market dilemma
and civil society', The Round Table, 1991; 'Market relaxation
and agricultural development', in C. Colclough and J. Manor (eds.),
States and Markets (1993) Recent papers include 'Reviving
global poverty reduction: what role for genetically modified plants?',
1999 Crawford Memorial Lecture, CGIAR; 'Food and nutrition security:
why food production matters', in FAO, State of Food and Agriculture
2000 - lessons from the past 50 years; and (with Robert Eastwood)
'The impact of human fertility on poverty', Journal of Development
Studies, July 1999 and 'Rural-urban dimensions of inequality
change', WIDER Working Papers 200, Helsinki, 2001.
worked as adviser and author for the World Bank, the International
Food Policy Research Institute (programme director, consumption
and nutrition, 1986-8), ILO, FAO, the UN Human Development Report
Office, the Asian Development Bank and other organisations. He is
now coordinating an EU study of the impact of land and asset distribution
on fertility, migration and environment in drylands, with fieldwork
in Botswana, Northern Province of South Africa, and Rajasthan, India.
Managing Editor of Journal of Development Studies and serves
on its Board and that of World Development. Honours include
the Webb Medley Economics Prize, Oxford (1959) and the Dudley Seers
Memorial Prize (with Robert Eastwood, 2001). He is a member of Council
of the Overseas Development Institute, London, and a past president
of the British Association for South Asian Studies - and of the
British Chess Problem Society (as a FIDE International Master of
Chess Problem Composition).
Lipton's wife, Merle, is a political scientist and South Africa
specialist. They live in Brighton, England, and have one son, Emanuel.