Lawrence is an international policy economist, specialising in the micro foundations of economic growth. He has advised governments around the world on private sector development, designing policy models that boost market dynamism, increase productivity, and raise cross-border trade. Much of Lawrence’s work has been in complex and unstable political regimes that require multi-stage reform sequencing, often adapted to emerging circumstances.
The several years that Lawrence worked at the World Bank in Moscow were some of the most formative of his career, as he was part of efforts to institutionalise Russia’s post-Soviet market liberalisation. He worked with internationally recognised research economists to understand the nature of firm growth and market dominance in the Russian economy, advising on competition and anti-monopoly reforms; and worked with ministers on how to foster innovation and market dynamism in a low-trust environment with weak contract enforcement. Lawrence was part of the World Bank team that helped to raise Russia’s Doing Business ranking from 124th to around 35th in the world.
Lawrence has strategised and managed private sector development programmes in many developing countries. Examples of his recent work include advising the Armenian government on how to boost its information technology exports through better digital connections with international markets; and designing a £40 million programme for DFID to boost the discovery of high growth firms in Nepal. He has also worked on projects in Ethiopia, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, and South Africa.