Dr Sami Bensassi

Dr Sami Bensassi

Department of Management
Reader in Managerial Economics

After completing a PhD in Economics (University of Paris Nanterre, France), Sami Bensassi joined the University Jaume I (Spain) in 2009. During the period he passed in Spain, he led a research project on the impact of maritime trade on the Mediterranean countries for the Center for Research on the Mediterranean Economies (CREMED). In 2012, Sami started lecturing at the University of Portsmouth. He won an award for his research on the Barcelona process and on modern maritime piracy. Sami joined Birmingham Business School in January 2013. 

Dr Sami Bensassi is also a part of the Birmingham Plastics Network, an interdisciplinary team of more than 40 academics working together to shape the fate and sustainable future of plastics.  This unique team brings together chemists, environmental scientists, engineers, philosophers, linguists, economists, artists, writers, lawyers, and experts in many other fields, to holistically address the global plastics problem.


Université Toulouse I; B.A in Economics

Université Panthéon Sorbonne (Paris I); M.A – Development Economics, International Trade

Université Paris X Nanterre; PhD, Economics – thesis: “The development nd the organization of the logistic sector: A neo-institutional analysis.”


Sami has taught International Business, Development Economics and International Trade.


  • International Trade and International Security,
  • Smuggling/Informal trade,
  • Institutions and Development
  • Return Migration 


Recent publications


Bensassi, S & Jabbour, L 2021, 'Beyond experience and capital. Is there a return to return migration?', Journal of Development Studies, pp. 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220388.2021.1988076

Siu, J, Jackson, LJ, Bensassi, S, Manjang, B & Manaseki-Holland, S 2021, 'Cost-effectiveness of a weaning food safety and hygiene programme in rural Gambia', Tropical Medicine and International Health, vol. 26, no. 12, pp. 1624-1633. https://doi.org/10.1111/tmi.13691

Arribas, I, Bensassi, S & Tortosa-Ausina, E 2020, 'Trade integration in the European Union: Openness, interconnectedness, and distance', North American Journal of Economics and Finance, vol. 52, 101167. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.najef.2020.101167

Bensassi, S & Jarreau, J 2019, 'Price discrimination in bribe payments: evidence from informal cross-border trade in West Africa', World Development, vol. 122, pp. 462-480. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.05.023

Bensassi, S, Jarreau, J & Mitaritonna, C 2018, 'Regional integration and informal trade in Africa: Evidence from Benin's borders', Journal of African Economies, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 89-118. https://doi.org/10.1093/jae/ejy016

Bensassi, S, Mohan, P & Strobl, E 2017, 'A Storm in a Teacup? Hurricanes and Sugar Prices in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century', Weather, Climate, and Society, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 753-768. https://doi.org/10.1175/WCAS-D-17-0015.1

Bensassi, S, Brockmeyer, A, Pellerin, M & Raballand, G 2017, 'Algeria–Mali trade: the normality of informality', Middle East Development Journal, pp. 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1080/17938120.2017.1353767

Bensassi, S, Stroeve, JC, Martínez-Zarzoso, I & Barrett, AP 2016, 'Melting ice, growing trade?', Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, vol. 4, 000107. https://doi.org/10.12952/journal.elementa.000107

Bensassi, S, Márquez-Ramos, L, Martínez-Zarzoso, I & Suárez-Burguet, C 2015, 'Relationship between logistics infrastructure and trade: Evidence from Spanish regional exports', Transportation Research. Part A: Policy & Practice: an international journal, vol. 72, pp. 47-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2014.11.007

Ayadi, L, Benjamin, N, Bensassi, S & Raballand, G 2014, 'An Attempt to Estimating Informal Trade Across Tunisia’s Land Borders', Articulo, vol. 10. https://doi.org/10.4000/articulo.2549

Bensassi, S, Martinez-Zarzoso, I & Suárez, C 2014, 'The effect of maritime transport costs on the extensive and intensive margins: Evidence from the Europe-Asia trade', Maritime Economics and Logistics, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 276-297. https://doi.org/10.1057/mel.2014.3

Bensassi, S & Martinez-Zarzoso, I 2013, 'THE PRICE OF MODERN MARITIME PIRACY', Defence and Peace Economics. <http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10242694.2012.723156#tabModule>

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Bensassi, S & Siu, J 2021, Quantifying missing and hidden trade: an economic perspective. in M Gallien & F Weigand (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Smuggling. 1st Edition edn, Routledge International Handbooks, Routledge, pp. 61-76. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003043645-5


Watson, S, Asamane, E, Lilford, R, Hemming, K, Sidibe, C, Rego, R, Bensassi, S, Diarra, A, Gautam, OP, Islam, MS, Jackson, L, Jolly, K, Kayentao, K, Koita, O, Manjang, B, Tebbs, S, Griffiths, P, Cairncross, S, Toure, O & Manaseki-Holland, S 2021 'Protocol for a cluster randomised trial to evaluate a community-level complementary-food safety and hygiene and nutrition intervention in Mali: the MaaCiwara study' medRxiv, pp. 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.12.15.21267512

Working paper

Bensassi, S, Ayadi, L, Benjamin, N & Raballand, G 2013 'Estimating Informal Trade across Tunisia's Land Borders: Policy Research Working Paper 6731 (WPS6731)' The World Bank.

View all publications in research portal

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