Lauren A. Johnston’s research focuses on China’s long-run economic growth and development. She has a particularly strong interest in how rapid demographic change is affecting China’s economy, and the related topic of China’s economic relations with Africa.
Before joining Merics, Johnston was a consultant to the World Bank and Unicef in Beijing and a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne. As a Global Leadership Fellow of the World Economic Forum she was responsible for relations with international organizations and the forum’s G20 project. Prior she was an ODI Fellow working as a senior economist in the Ministries of Finance of Guyana and of Sierra Leone where she focused on debt sustainability analysis and national development finance strategies. Johnston holds a PhD in economics from Peking University (2013), an MSc in development economics from SOAS (London), and a BA/B.Com from the University of Melbourne. She also studied Chinese at Beijing Normal University and economics at Thammasat University, Thailand.