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Peter Sanfey


Peter Sanfey is Deputy Director for Country Economics, Strategy and Policy within the Department of Policy Strategy and Delivery at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.  Between 2017 and 2020 he was also a Visiting Senior Fellow in the LSEE Research on South Eastern Europe group at the European Institute, London School of Economics.

Prior to joining the EBRD he was a lecturer in economics at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

He has published widely in international refereed journals, mostly on transition economics, macroeconomics and labour economics, and he has co-authored two books and numerous articles on economic policies and reforms in south-eastern Europe.


1992 – Ph.D. Economics, Yale University
1985 – BA Economics, Trinity College Dublin

Research interests

  • Transition economics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Informal labour markets
  • Subjective measures of well-being

Publications in journals

Nikolova, E. and P. Sanfey (2016), How Much Should We Trust Life Satisfaction Data? Evidence from the Life in Transition Survey, Journal of Comparative Economics, 44 (3), pp. 720-731.

Berglof, E., D. Foray, M. Landesmann, J.Y. Lin, N. Campos, P. Sanfey, S. Radosevic and N. Volchkova  (2015), Discussion Forum: Transition Economics Meets New Structural Economics, Journal of Economic Policy Reform, DOI: 10.1080/17487870.2015.1018691.

Kuzmanović, M. and P. Sanfey (2013), Can Consumer Confidence Data Predict Real Variables? Evidence from Croatia, Croatian Economic Survey, 15(1), pp. 5-24.

Sanfey, P. (2011), South-Eastern Europe: Lessons Learned from the Global Economic Crisis in 2008-10, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 11(2), pp. 97-115.

Krstić, G. and P. Sanfey (2011), Earnings Inequality and the Informal Economy: Evidence from Serbia, Economics of Transition, 19(1), pp. 179-199.

Sanfey, P. and U. Teksoz (2007), Does Transition Make You Happy? Economics of Transition, 15(4), pp. 707-731.

Krstić, G. and P. Sanfey (2007), Mobility, Poverty and Well-Being among the Informally Employed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Economic Systems, 31(3), pp. 311-335.

Falcetti, E., T. Lysenko and P. Sanfey (2006), Reforms and Growth in Transition: Re-examining the Evidence, Journal of Comparative Economics, 34(3), pp. 421-445.

Dutz, M., C. Kauffmann, S. Najarian, P. Sanfey and R. Yemtsov (2004), Labour Market States, Mobility and Entrepreneurship in Transition Economies, Brazilian Journal of Business Economics, 4(2), pp. 37-49.

Çuka, E., H. Papapanagos, N. Polo and P. Sanfey (2003), Labor Market Developments in Albania: an Analytical Overview, Review of Development Economics, 7(2), pp. 217-227.

Papapanagos, H. and P. Sanfey (2003), Emigration and the Optimal Speed of Transition, Review of International Economics, 11(3), pp. 541-554.

Falcetti, E., M. Raiser and P. Sanfey (2002), Defying the Odds: Initial Conditions, Reforms and Growth in the First Decade of Transition, Journal of Comparative Economics, 30(2), pp. 229-250.

Kule, D., A. Mançellari, H. Papapanagos, S. Qirici and P. Sanfey (2002), The Causes and Consequences of Albanian Emigration during Transition: Evidence from Micro-Data, International Migration Review, 36(1), pp. 229-239.

Muent, H., F. Pissarides and P. Sanfey (2001), Taxes, Competition and Finance for Albanian Enterprises: Evidence from a Field Study, MOCT-MOST: Economic Policy in Transitional Economies, 11(3), pp. 239-251.

Namazie, C. and P. Sanfey (2001), Happiness and Transition: the Case of Kyrgyzstan, Review of Development Economics, 5(3), pp. 392-405.

Papapanagos, H. and P. Sanfey (2001), Intention to Emigrate in Transition Countries: the Case of Albania, Journal of Population Economics, 14(3), pp. 491-504.

Clark, A., Y. Georgellis and P. Sanfey (2001), Scarring: the Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment, Economica, 68(2), pp. 221-241.

Delipalla, S. and P. Sanfey (2001), Commodity Taxes, Wage Determination and Profits, Journal of Public Economic Theory, 3(2), pp. 203-217.

Muço, M., H. Papapanagos and P. Sanfey (1999), The Determinants of Official and Free-Market Exchange Rates in Albania during Transition, Journal of Comparative Economics, 27(3), pp. 534-552.

Haderi, S., H. Papapanagos, P. Sanfey and M. Talka (1999), Inflation and Stabilisation in Albania, Post-Communist Economies, 11(1), pp. 127-141.

Clark, A., Y. Georgellis and P. Sanfey (1998): Job Satisfaction, Wage Changes and Quits: Evidence from Germany, Research in Labor Economics, 17, pp. 95-121.

Sanfey, P. (1998), Bargaining, Efficiency Wages, and the Price-Cost Markup, Economics Letters, 58, pp. 193-197.

Mançellari, A., H. Papapanagos and P. Sanfey (1996): Job Creation and Temporary Emigration: The Albanian Experience, Economics of Transition, 4(2), pp. 471-490.

Blanchflower, D., A. Oswald and P. Sanfey (1996), Wages, Profits and Rent-Sharing, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 111(1), pp. 227-251.

Sanfey, P. (1995), Insiders and Outsiders in Union Models”, Journal of Economic Surveys, 9(3), pp. 255-284.

Sanfey, P. (1993), On the Interaction between Efficiency Wages and Union-Firm Bargaining Models, Economics Letters, 41, pp. 319-324.

O'Hagan, J., P. McBride and P. Sanfey (1986) Local Revenue Sources for Local Government: the Continuing Debate, Administration, 34(2), pp. 233-253.

O'Hagan, J., P. McBride and P. Sanfey (1985) Local Government Finance: the Irish Experience, The British Tax Review, No. 4, pp. 235-254.


Bennett, A., G. R. Kincaid, P. Sanfey and M. Watson (2015), Economic and Policy Foundations for Growth in South East Europe: Remaking the Balkan Economy. Palgrave MacMillan.

Anastasakis, O., P. Sanfey and M. Watson (2013, eds.), Defining a New Reform Agenda: Paths to Sustainable Convergence in South East Europe, South East European Studies at Oxford, St Antony’s College, Oxford University.

Cviić, C. and P. Sanfey (2010), In Search of the Balkan Recovery: the Political and Economic Reemergence of South-Eastern Europe. C. Hurst & Co. (London, UK) and Oxford University Press (New York, US).

Sanfey, P., E Falcetti, A. Taci and S. Tepić (2004), Spotlight on South-Eastern Europe: an Overview of Private Sector Activity and Investment. London, EBRD.

Publications in books

P. Sanfey (2021), Building the Good Life: Growth, Reforms and Happiness in Transition, Chapter 24 of: The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative Economics (eds. E. Douarin and O. Havrylyshyn), pp. 617-633; Palgrave Macmillan.

Milatović, J. and P. Sanfey (2020), Are Yugoslav Successor States on the Path to Sustainable Market Economies? Chapter 9 of: The Legacy of Yugoslavia: Politics, Economics and Society in the Modern Balkans (eds. O. Anastasakis, A. Bennett, D. Madden and A. Merdzanovic), pp. 191-207I; I.B. Tauris.

P. Sanfey and J. Milatović (2018), The Western Balkans Regional Economic Area: from Economic Cooperation to Economic Integration, in The Transition towards European Union - Recent Economic and Social Developments in West Balkan Countries, pp. 15-27, Berlin: Springer  (eds. Reiner Osbild and Will Bartlett).

Sanfey, P. (2013), People and Transition: Life in Transition Survey, Chapter 25 of Handbook of the Economics and Political Economy of Transition (eds. G. Turley and P. Hare), pp. 313-320; Routledge International Handbooks.

Sanfey, P. and S. Zeh (2013), Making Sense of Competitiveness Indicators in South-Eastern Europe, Chapter 2 of Defining a New Reform Agenda: Paths to Sustainable Convergence in South East Europe (eds. O. Anastasakis, P. Sanfey and M. Watson), pp. 25-50; South East European Studies at Oxford, St Antony’s College, Oxford University.

Berglof, E. L. Bruynooghe, H. Harmgart, P. Sanfey, H. Schweiger and J. Zettelmeyer (2012), European transition at twenty: assessing progress in countries and sectors, in: Gérard Roland (ed.), Economies in Transition: the Long-Run View, Palgrave Macmillan (in association with UNU-WIDER), pp. 254-292.

Sanfey, P. (2011), South East Europe: Lessons from the Global Economic Crisis, Chapter 1 of From Crisis to Recovery: Sustainable Growth in South East Europe (eds. O. Anastasakis, J. Bastian and M. Watson), pp. 13-35; South East European Studies at Oxford, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

Sanfey, P. and S. Zeh (2010), Trade Potential and Lon-Run Growth in SEE (with Simone Zeh), Chapter 3 of South Eastern Europe after the Crisis: A New Dawn or Back to Business as Usual? (eds. W. Bartlett and V. Monastiriotis), pp. 35-43; London School of Economics, London.

Sanfey, P. (2010), Economic Development in South Eastern Europe, Chapter 3.1 of From Stabilisation to Integration: The Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe (eds. E. Busek and B. Kühne), pp. 97-106; Böhlau Verlag.

Pissarides, F. and P. Sanfey (2007), Bulgaria and Romania: Recent Progress and Challenges Ahead in an Expanded European Union, in 50 Years European Union 2007, pp. 60-63; International Systems and Communications Limited.

Kule, D., A. Mançellari, P. Sanfey and S. Qirici (2006), Labour Markets and Emigration in Albania, Chapter 5 of On Eagle’s Wings: the Albanian Economy in Transition (ed. D. Bezemer), pp. 71-80; Nova Publishers.

Falcetti, E., P. Sanfey and S. Tepić (2005), South-East Europe: Opportunities and Potential for Investment and Growth, Chapter 4 of European Economic Integration and South-East Europe: Challenges and Prospects (eds. K. Liebscher, J. Christl, P. Mooslechner and D. Ritzberger-Grünwald), pp. 47-61; Edward Elgar.

Muço, M. and P. Sanfey (2002), SME Development Policy in Albania: Developing Support Institutions in an Unstable Environment, Chapter 10 of Small Enterprise Development in South-east Europe: Policies for Sustainable Growth (eds. W. Bartlett, M. Bateman and M. Vehovec), pp. 229-239; Kluwer Academic Press.

Selected Recent Working Papers

Meshulam, D. and P. Sanfey (2019), The determinants of real exchange rates in transition economies, EBRD Working Paper No. 228.

Sanfey, P. and J. Milatović (2018), The Western Balkans in transition: diagnosing the constraints on the path to a sustainable market economy, London, EBRD, 2018.

Bartzokas, A., C. Papazoglou and P. Sanfey (2017), Greek Exports and Corporate Adjustment, paper prepared for a conference on “Exports for Growth”, hosted by the Bank of Greece, December 2017.

Krešić, A.,  J. Milatović and P. Sanfey (2017), Firm Performance and Obstacles to Doing Business in the Western Balkans: Evidence from the BEEPS, EBRD Working Paper No. 200.

Sanfey, P., J. Milatović and A. Krešić (2016), How the Western Balkans Can Catch Up, EBRD Working Paper No. 185.

Kuzmanović, M. and P. Sanfey (2014), Diagnosing Growth Constraints in South-Eastern Europe: the Case of Serbia, EBRD Working Paper No. 167.

Bartzokas, A., C.  Papazoglou and P. Sanfey (2013), Regional Integration and Economic Recovery in South-Eastern Europe, paper prepared for an International Symposium on “Growth Challenges and Economic Integration in SEE”, Athens, December 2013.


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