Philip Mader

Philip Mader

Research Fellow

Philip Mader is a research fellow in the Business, Markets and the State research cluster, and has over 15 years’ research and consulting experience in the field of international development.

His research areas include political economy, digital finance and development, taxation, youth employment, financialisation, financial inclusion and, more broadly, the politics of market-oriented interventions in development. He has led impact evaluations of financial inclusion and Solidarity Groups for European and international funders. His prior research, which focused on microfinance and its connections with poverty and financial markets, was awarded two major PhD prizes. He has research and consulting experience in India and sub-Saharan Africa, and has been invited to speak at academic and practitioner events on all continents.

Phil teaches economics, political economy and social development topics at IDS. He previously taught sociology, political economy and theory of knowledge at IDS and the Universities of Cologne and Basel.

Office hours for students: 9:00-10:00 on Wednesdays during term time; please e-mail in advance for an appointment.

PhD supervision

Phil co-supervises the PhD of Stella Odiase. He will consider applications from applicants who write to him with a CV and (approx.) 2-page proposal of research that clearly states how their research plans fit his current interests. Regrettably, he is unable to discuss admission requirements or discuss research ideas that are not fully developed into a proposal.

International talks and lectures

  • Microfinance: Problems, Critiques, Solutions – public lecture given at Monash University, 09 November 2017

Recent featured publications and podcast

Enablers, Barriers and Impacts of Digital Financial Services: Insights from an Evidence Gap Map and Implications for Taxation

Podcast S03 Ep07: The Routledge International Handbook of Financialization – Phil Mader and Natascha van der Zwan

9 Ways Coronavirus Could Transform Capitalism

Africa’s ‘Youth Employment’ Crisis is Actually a ‘Missing Jobs’ Crisis

Podcast S02 Ep12: Battling Eight Giants: Basic Income Now – Guy Standing



Youth employment and politics

Over 40 percent of global populations are under 25 yet young people cannot secure work and increasingly face a crisis of citizenship. Youth Employment and Politics at IDS builds on decades of research to develop knowledge and evidence that contributes to effective interventions that supports,...


Handbook of Financialization

  Financialization has become the go-to term for scholarship that studies the vastly expanded role of finance in contemporary politics, economy and society. The concept itself has equally expanded and evolved from a niche research theme in critical scholarship to one that informs an...


Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development (CREID)

The Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development (CREID) provides research evidence and delivers practical programmes which aim to redress the impact of discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, tackle poverty and exclusion, and promote people’s wellbeing and...



How should Africa’s digital payments be taxed?

Africa’s governments need tax revenue to fund everything from education and social welfare to paying international debts. No wonder governments are eyeing digital financial services (DFS) – a rapidly growing, highly profitable industry – for additional revenue. However, critics...

25 October 2022


A world of cameras: how sustainable is it?

Over the last five to ten years, the number of people owning smartphones has grown rapidly, especially in lower-and-middle-income countries. Now synonymous with cameras, these smartphones are responsible for the majority of images taken worldwide. Embedded cameras are ever more present...

1 March 2022


Young Africans need more and better jobs, not more training

When the world rebuilds after the Covid-19 crisis, Africa will have a unique challenge to face: bringing its overwhelmingly young workforce into decent, productive, and secure jobs. Africa has the world’s youngest population, a fact that some hope will mean fewer deaths and serious cases,...

Philip Mader
Philip Mader & 4 others

10 September 2020



What About Us? Global Perspectives on Redressing Religious Inequalities


How can we make religious equality a reality for those on the margins of society and politics? This book is about the individual and collective struggles of the religiously marginalised to be recognised and their inequalities, religious or otherwise, redressed.

26 October 2022

Journal Article

Fintech and Tax in Sub-Saharan Africa: Taxation Versus Financial Inclusion

Journal of Cultural Economy 15.4

The rise of digital financial services has attracted growing attention from governments in Sub-Saharan Africa seeking to raise tax revenue. In the context of global concerns around how governments can tax the digital economy and fintech, we evaluate recent debates over mobile money taxation in...

Philip Mader
Philip Mader & 2 others

24 August 2022

Philip Mader’s recent work