The Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) launched its lecture series in April 2005 to bring distinguished academics to the Bank to present and discuss new knowledge on development. The lectures are chaired by Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Development Economics.
Lessons for Inclusive Growth from the US and the World Jason Furman — July 21, 2014
About Jason Furman
Jason Furman is the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Prior to this role, Furman served as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and the Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. From 2007 to 2008 Furman was a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies and Director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institute. Previously, he served as a Staff Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers, a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the National Economic Council under President Clinton and Senior Adviser to the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank. Furman was the Economic Policy Director for Obama for America.
Furman earned his Ph.D. in economics and a M.A. in government from Harvard University and a M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics, he has also served as Visiting Scholar at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a visiting lecturer at Yale and Columbia Universities, and a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. He has conducted research in a wide range of areas, including fiscal policy, tax policy, health economics, Social Security, and monetary policy. In addition to numerous articles in scholarly journals and periodicals, Furman is the editor of several books on economic policy, including Path to Prosperity and Who Has the Cure.
The Measurement of PPPs and the Measurement of Poverty Angus Deaton — June 16, 2014
About Angus Deaton
Angus Deaton is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University. His main current research areas are in health, wellbeing, and economic development. Professor Deaton has taught at Cambridge University and the University of Bristol. He is a corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the Econometric Society and, in 1978, was the first recipient of the Society's Frisch Medal. Professor Deaton was President of the American Economic Association in 2009. In 2012 he was awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award.
What Do We Learn from Schumpeterian Growth Theory? Philippe Aghion — April 17, 2014
About Philippe Aghion
Philippe Aghion is Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics at Harvard University, Programme Director in Industrial Organization at the Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), and Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Professor Aghion is one of the most prolific and influential economists of his generation. He focuses much of his attention on the relationship between economic growth and policy, particularly innovations as a main source of economic growth. Professor Aghion’s approach is to examine how various factors interact with local entrepreneurs’ incentives to either innovate or to imitate frontier technologies.
With Peter Howitt, Philippe Aghion developed the so-called ‘Schumpeterian paradigm’, and extended the paradigm in several directions. Much of the resulting work is summarised in the book he co-authored with Howitt entitled Endogenous Growth Theory.
In the process of trying to link growth and organisations, Professor Aghion has also contributed to the field of contract theory and corporate governance. His work concentrates on the question of how to allocate authority and control rights within a firm, or between entrepreneurs and investors.
In addition to his academic research, Professor Aghion has been associated with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) since 1990. He is also managing editor of the journal The Economics of Transition, which he launched in 1992.
Philippe Aghion is a graduate of the mathematics section of the Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan, has a degree in mathematical economics from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University (1987). He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009.
Abhijit Banerjee was educated at the University of Calcutta, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D in 1988. He is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2003 he founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), along with Esther Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan and remains one of the directors of the lab. In 2009 J-PAL won the BBVA Foundation "Frontier of Knowledge" award in the development cooperation category. Banerjee is a past president of the Bureau for the Research in the Economic Analysis of Development, a Research Associate of the NBER, a CEPR research fellow, International Research Fellow of the Kiel Institute, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society and has been a Guggenheim Fellow and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow. He received the Infosys Prize 2009 in Social Sciences and Economics. His areas of research are development economics and economic theory. He is the author of three books including Poor Economics (www.pooreconomics.com), as well as a large number of articles, and is the editor of a third book. He finished his first documentary film, "The Name of the Disease" in 2006.
Statecraft and Development Madeleine Albright—February 19, 2014
About Madeleine Albright
Madeleine K. Albright is Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group and Chair of Albright Capital Management, an affiliated investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. She was the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. In 2012, Dr. Albright received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1997, she was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. As Secretary of State, Dr. Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated for democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade, business, labor, and environmental standards abroad. From 1993 to 1997, she served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet.
Prior to her service in the Clinton Administration, she served as President of the Center for National Policy; was a member of President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council and White House staff; and served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie. Dr. Albright is a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She chairs both the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the Pew Global Attitudes Project and serves as president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. She serves on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Policy Board, a group tasked with providing the Secretary of Defense with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning matters of defense policy as well as on the Boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Institute and the Center for American Progress.
Dr. Albright is the author of five New York Times bestsellers: her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir (2003); The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006); Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership (2008); Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box (2009); and Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 (2012). She received a B.A. with Honors from Wellesley College, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government.
Fostering the Transition to the New Climate Economy: Policies, Political Economy, Innovation and Growth Nicholas Stern—January 6, 2014
About Nicholas Stern
Lord Stern is President of the British Academy and the I.G. Patel Professor of Economics and Government at the London School of Economics, where he is also head of the India Observatory within the LSE's Asia Research Centre, and Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. Previously, having held academic posts at the Universities of Oxford and Warwick, he was then Chief Economist for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and subsequently Chief Economist and Senior VP of the World Bank. In 2005, he was appointed by the UK government to conduct the influential Stern Review, which analyzed the economic costs of climate change. Lord Stern's research focuses on the economics of climate change, economic development and growth, economic theory, tax reform, public policy and the role of the state and economies in transition.
Improving Equality of Opportunity: New Evidence and Policy Lessons Raj Chetty—December 17, 2013
About Raj Chetty
Raj Chetty is a Professor in the Economics Department at Harvard University, Co-Director of the Public Economics group at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Editor of the Journal of Public Economics. His research combines empirical evidence and theory to inform the design of more effective government policies. Chetty's work on tax policy, unemployment, and education has been widely cited in media outlets and Congressional testimony.
Chetty received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2003 at the age of 23 and is one of the youngest tenured professors in the university's history. He has been named one of the top economists in the world by the New York Times and the Economist magazine. He was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship in 2012. In 2013, Chetty became one of the youngest recipients of the John Bates Clark medal, given by the American Economic Association to the best American economist under age 40.
Standards for State-Building Roger Myerson—November 25, 2013
About Roger Myerson
Roger Myerson is the Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. Myerson has made seminal contributions to the fields of economics and political science. In game theory, he introduced refinements of Nash's equilibrium concept, and he developed techniques to characterize the effects of communication when individuals have different information. His analysis of incentive constraints in economic communication introduced several fundamental which that are now widely used in economic analysis, including the revelation principle and the revenue-equivalence theorem in auctions and bargaining. Myerson has also applied game-theoretic tools to political science, analyzing how political incentives can be affected by different electoral systems and constitutional structures.
Myerson is the author of Game Theory: Analysis of Conflict (1991) and Probability Models for Economic Decisions (2005). He also has published numerous articles in professional journals, including Econometrica, Journal of Economic Theory, Games and Decisions, American Political Science Review, Mathematics of Operations Research, and International Journal of Game Theory. He is currently president of the Game Theory Society (2012), has been president of the Econometric Society (2009), and has been vice president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999–2002).
Myerson has a PhD from Harvard University and taught for 25 years in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University before coming to the University of Chicago in 2001. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has received several honorary degrees, and he received the Jean-Jacques Laffont Prize in 2009. He was awarded the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in recognition of his contributions to mechanism design theory, which analyzes rules for coordinating economic agents efficiently when they have different information and difficulty trusting each other.
The Causes and Consequences of Development Clusters: State Capacity, Peace, and Income Timothy Besley—October 4, 2013
About Timothy Besley
Timothy Besley is School Professor of Economics and Political Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is also a Visiting Professor at the Institute for International Economic Studies at Stockholm University. From September 2006 to August 2009, he served as an external member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee. He is also the Gluskin-Granovsky Fellow in the Institutions, Organizations and Growth Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). Professor Besley was educated at Aylesbury Grammar School and Oxford University where he became a prize fellow of All Souls College. He taught subsequently at Princeton before being appointed Professor in the economics department at the LSE in 1995. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the British Academy, and the European Economic Association. He is also a foreign honorary member of the American Economic Association and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2010 he served as the President of the European Economic Association. Professor Besley is a past co-editor of the American Economic Review, and a 2005 winner of the Yrjö Jahnsson Award of the European Economics Association which is granted every other year to an economist aged under 45 who has made a significant contribution to economics in Europe. His research, which mostly has a policy focus, is mainly in the areas of Development Economics, Public Economics and Political Economy.
Intergenerational Mobility, Human Capital, and Inequality Gary Becker—September 23, 2013
About Gary Becker
Gary S. Becker is University Professor of Economics and of Sociology at the University of Chicago. He also is the Rose-Marie and Jack R. Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Professor Becker won the 1992 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences "for having extended the domain of microeconomic analysis to a wide range of human behavior and interaction, including non-market behavior."
The Development of Higher Education in the Developing World Christina Paxson—Friday, April 26, 2013
About Christina Paxson
Christina Paxson was sworn in as the nineteenth president of Brown University on Monday, July 2, 2012. At the time of her appointment in March 2012, she was dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs and the Hughes Rogers Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University.
A 1982 honors graduate of Swarthmore College, Phi Beta Kappa, Paxson earned her graduate degrees in economics at Columbia University (M.A., 1985; Ph.D., 1987). She began her academic career at Princeton University in 1986, becoming assistant professor of economics and public affairs the next year. She became a full professor in 1997 and was named the Hughes-Rogers Professor of Economics and Public Affairs in 2007. Graduate students at the Woodrow Wilson School have given her five annual awards for teaching excellence. Initially working on international economic problems of labor supply, mobility, savings, inequality, and aging, Paxson focused increasingly on the relationship of economic factors to health and welfare over the life course, particularly on the health and welfare of children. In 2000, she founded the Center for Health and Wellbeing, an interdisciplinary research center in the Woodrow Wilson School. The center established multidisciplinary graduate and undergraduate certificate programs in health and health policy. She served as the center’s director until 2009.
Paxson also has served as associate chair (2005-08) and chair (2008-09) of the Department of Economics at Princeton and was the founding director of a National Institute on Aging Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging at Princeton. She was elected vice president of the American Economics Association in 2012 and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She has been the principal investigator on a number of research projects supported by the National Institutes of Health, the most recent of which is a study of adversity and resilience after Hurricane Katrina.
As dean of the Woodrow Wilson School, Paxson oversaw significant changes in the undergraduate major in public and international affairs, which included eliminating selective admissions and revamping the curriculum to place greater emphasis on multidisciplinary learning, independent research, and field experience in the United States and internationally. Under her leadership, the Woodrow Wilson School founded the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance and increased opportunities for research and teaching on issues related to domestic and international financial markets.
The Science of Delivering on-line IDs for a Billion People: The Aadhaar Experience Nandan Nilekani—April 24, 2013
About Nandan Nilekani
Nandan Nilekani is an Indian entrepreneur and Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in the rank of Union Cabinet Minister. Prior to this post, Nilekani co-founded and served as CEO of Infosys, an India-based, multinational provider of business consulting, technology, engineering, and outsourcing services. In 2010, Foreign Policy magazine listed him as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in both 2006 and 2009. In 2006, he was awarded one of India’s highest civilian honors, the Padma Bhushan and was also named Businessman of the Year by Forbes Asia.
Global Perspectives on the Causes and Consequences of Growing Inequality Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz—April 15, 2013
About Joseph E. Stiglitz
Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz graduated from Amherst College, he received his Ph.D from MIT in 1967, became a full professor at Yale in 1970, and in 1979 was awarded the John Bates Clark Award, given biennially by the American Economic Association to the economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the field. He has taught at Princeton, Stanford, MIT and was the Drummond Professor and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is now University Professor at Columbia University and Chair of Columbia University's Committee on Global Thought. He is also the co-founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia. In 2001, He was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Stiglitz was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1993–95, during the Clinton administration, and served as CEA chairman from 1995–97. He then became Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 1997–2000.
Recognized around the world as a leading economic educator, he has written textbooks that have been translated into more than a dozen languages. He founded one of the leading economics journals, The Journal of Economic Perspectives. His latest book, The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future was published by W,W, Norton & Company in June 2012.
Directions in Modeling Bounded Rationality Professor Ariel Rubinstein—March 28, 2013
About Ariel Rubinstein
Ariel Rubinstein was born in Jerusalem in 1951. He received his PhD from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1979. He has been a Professor at the Hebrew University and at Princeton and currently is a Professor of Economics at Tel Aviv University and New York University. He has served as the President of the Econometric Society (2004). He is a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Economic Association and is an Elected Fellow of the Israeli Academy of Sciences. He won the Israel Prize in 2002 and the Nemmers Prize in 2004. He has written 6 books: Bargaining and Markets (with M. Osborne) (1990), A Course in Game Theory (with M. Osborne) (1994), Modeling Bounded Rationality (1998), Economics and Language (2000), Lecture Notes in Microeconomics (2005) and Economic Fables (2012). His main fields of research are Economic Theory, Decision Theory, Models of Bounded Rationality and Game Theory.
Hard Evidence on Soft Skills: The Effects of Personality on Wages, Employment, Schooling and Health and Policies that Boost Personality Professor James Heckman—December 15, 2011
About Professor Heckman
James J. Heckman is the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he has served since 1973. In 2000, he shared the Nobel Prize for Economics with Daniel McFadden. Heckman directs the Economics Research Center and the Center for Social Program Evaluation at the Harris School for Public Policy, and is Professor of Law at the University of Chicago School of Law. Heckman received his B.A. in mathematics from Colorado College in 1965 and his Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University in 1971. His work has been devoted to the development of a scientific basis for economic policy evaluation, with special emphasis on models of individuals and disaggregated groups, and to the problems and possibilities created by heterogeneity, diversity, and unobserved counterfactual states. He developed a body of new econometric tools that address these issues. His research has given policymakers important new insights into areas such as education, job-training, the importance of accounting for general equilibrium in the analysis of labor markets, anti-discrimination law, and civil rights. More...
The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World Professor Michael Spence—December 5, 2011
About this Lecture
This lecture describes how the recent period of growth in developing countries is leading to a convergence with the advanced countries, or developed world.
He lays out a framework for how the global economy will develop over the next fifty years, and offers much needed wisdom on how to sustain economic growth in advanced and developing countries. He explores the following questions:
Can we learn over time to manage something as complex as the emerging and evolving global economy, with its rising interdependencies and complexity?
What will happen to populations, incomes, natural resources, and the environment?
Is it possible for the fourfold increase in the ranks of the relatively wealthy to continue, or is there a massive multidimensional "adding up" problem in which what was possible for a "few" will not be possible for the "many"?
Is the management and governance of the global economy that was in place for the last quarter century going to work in the future, or is it going to need fundamental change?
The State of the Global Economy: An Agenda for Job Creation Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz—September 26, 2011
About this Lecture
It is not inevitable, Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz has argued, that the parts of the world experiencing weak economic growth are doomed to an extended period of Japanese-style malaise. But to create jobs in countries like the United States, we must dispel with two myths: one, that reducing deficits will restore the economy; and two, that stimulus does not work. In the U.S., with its weak and uneven recovery from recession, smart government support will be crucial. Remarkably low interest rates provide an excellent opportunity for investment in infrastructure, technology, and education—and there are many high-return investments to be made in these areas. Even if deficit fetishism continues to be an obstacle, there is still room to boost GDP by achieving a balanced budget through spending, and in taxes on the wealthiest Americans. In this presentation, Professor Stiglitz discusses strategies available for the United States and countries around the world that are trying to put their people back to work in the wake of the crisis.
The Liquidation of Government Debt Professor Carmen Reinhart—June 15, 2011
About this Lecture
Historically, periods of high indebtedness have been associated with a rising incidence of default or restructuring of public and private debts. A subtle type of debt restructuring takes the form of "financial repression." Financial repression includes directed lending to government by captive domestic audiences (such as pension funds), explicit or implicit caps on interest rates, regulation of cross-border capital movements, and (generally) a tighter connection between government and banks. In the heavily regulated financial markets of the Bretton Woods system, several restrictions facilitated a sharp and rapid reduction in public debt/GDP ratios from the late 1940s to the 1970s. Low nominal interest rates help reduce debt servicing costs while a high incidence of negative real interest rates liquidates or erodes the real value of government debt. Thus, financial repression is most successful in liquidating debts when accompanied by a steady dose of inflation. Inflation need not take market participants entirely by surprise and, in effect, it need not be very high (by historic standards). For the advanced economies in our sample, real interest rates were negative roughly ½ of the time during 1945–1980. For the United States and the United Kingdom our estimates of the annual liquidation of debt via negative real interest rates amounted on average from 3 to 4 percent of GDP a year. For Australia and Italy, which recorded higher inflation rates, the liquidation effect was larger (around 5 percent per annum). We describe some of the regulatory measures and policy actions that characterized the heyday of the financial repression era.
Policies and Politics: Can Evidence Play a Role in the Fight against Poverty? Professor Esther Duflo—May 24, 2011
About this Lecture
Professor Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at MIT and a founder and director of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a research network specializing in randomized evaluations of social programs. Her research focuses on microeconomic issues in developing countries, including household behavior, education, access to finance, health and policy evaluation.
Duflo has received numerous academic honors and prizes including the John Bates Clark Medal (2010), a MacArthur Fellowship (2009), the American Economic Association's Elaine Bennett Prize for Research (2003), the "Best French Young Economist Prize" (Le Monde/Cercle des economistes, 2005), the Médaille de Bronze (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 2005), and the Prix Luc Durand-Reville (Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, 2008).
Structural Change and Economic Growth Professor Dani Rodrik—April 14, 2011
About this Lecture
Since 1990 we have observed widely diverse patterns of broad structural change within developing countries. In several cases—most notably China, India, and some other Asian countries—globalization's promise has been fulfilled: high-productivity employment opportunities have expanded and structural change has contributed to overall growth. But in many other cases—in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa—globalization appears not to have fostered the desirable kind of structural change. Labor has moved in the wrong direction, from more productive to less productive activities, including, most notably, informality. This talk will focus on these developments, provide new evidence, and offer some interpretations.
Professor Rodrik is the Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He has published widely in the areas of international economics, economic development, and political economy. His research focuses on what constitutes good economic policy and why some governments are better than others in adopting it. His most recent research is concerned with the determinants of economics growth and the consequences of international economic integration.
Interpreting Grain Price Volatility Professor Brian D. Wright—March 11, 2011
About this Lecture
The recent volatility of prices of major grains has generated a wide array of economic interpretations and policy prescriptions. In this lecture, Professor Wright will review some of these interpretations and the associated empirical evidence.
Professor Wright is Professor and Chair of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include economics of markets for storable commodities, market stabilization, agricultural policy, industrial organization, public finance, invention incentives, intellectual property rights, the economics of research and development, and the economics of conservation and innovation of genetic resources. He has co-authored or co-edited several books, including Storage and Commodity Markets; Reforming Agricultural Commodity Policy; Saving Seeds: The Economics of Conserving Genetic Resources at the CGIAR Centers, and Accessing Biodiversity and Sharing the Benefits: Lessons from Implementing the Convention on Biodiversity and published extensively in the leading journals in Economics and Agricultural Economics.
Developing Countries, Trade Openness and Growth Professor Arvind Panagariya—February 16, 2011
About this Lecture
Debates on development policy are often complex, since they involve multiple objectives, including poverty alleviation, reduction in inequality, improved human development indicators and other social goals. There is virtually no single instrument that can guarantee improvement along every dimension of each of these objectives, so multiple fixes are required.
Regarding poor economies, sustained rapid growth remains perhaps the most important instrument to pursue these objectives. With this in mind, Professor Panagariya focuses on the relationship between trade openness and growth. Contrary to many skeptics, Professor Panagariya argues that economists have now assembled compelling evidence favoring low or declining protection as being more conducive to sustained rapid growth than high or rising protection. The aggregate experience of the developing countries over the past 50 years, cross-country evidence and country case studies all compellingly point in this direction. This is in contrast to near-total absence of any positive evidence provided by free trade critics demonstrating the efficacy of high or rising protection as the key to sustained rapid growth.