Bill Easterly and Jessica Cohen of Brookings recently convened a conference with leading development experts to explore one of the most vexing issues of global development: what do we really know about what works and what doesn’t when fighting global poverty? The conference focused on the ongoing debate over which paths to development really maximize results: a big-picture approach focusing on the role of institutions, macroeconomic policies, growth strategies and other country-level factors; or a more grassroots approach focusing on particular microeconomic interventions such as conditional cash transfers, bed nets, teaching materials and other micro-level improvements in service delivery on the ground. The conference objective was to shed light on both schools of thought, with the goal of achieving a consensus on how to best leverage limited resources and time in the race to lift the lives of the world’s poorest.
The related conference papers detail critical lessons from development experiences and propose new ways of tackling some of the toughest issues.
View the conference agenda »
DRAFT CONFERENCE PAPERS:
- The New Development Economics: We Shall Experiment, But How Shall We Learn?
Author: Dani Rodrik (Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government)
Discussants: Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard University) & Martin Ravallion (World Bank)
- Breaking Out of the Pocket: Do Health Interventions Work? Which and in What Sense?
Authors: Simon Johnson (International Monetary Fund) & Peter Boone (London School of Economics, Centre for Economic Performance)
Discussants: Anne Case (Princeton University) & Jessica Cohen (Brookings Institution)
- Pricing and Access: Lessons from Randomized Evaluations in Education and Health
Author: Michael Kremer (Harvard University and the Brookings Institution)
Discussants: David Weil (Brown University) & Paul Romer (Stanford University)
- The Policy Irrelevance of the Economics of Education: Is ‘Normative as Positive’ Just Useless, or is it Worse?
Author: Lant Pritchett (Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government)
Discussants: Ben Olken (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) & Nancy Birdsall (Center for Global Development)
- High Bandwidth Economic Policies: Strategies To Speed Up Productive Transformation
Author: Ricardo Haussman (Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government)
Discussants: Nava Ashraf (Harvard University Business School) & Ross Levine (Brown University)
- Big Answers For Big Questions: The Illusions of Macroeconomics
Author: Abhijit Banerjee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Discussants: Peter Klenow (Stanford University) & William Easterly (NYU and Brookings Institution)
International Monetary Fund
London School of Economics
Gates Professor of Developing Societies - Department of Economics at Harvard University
Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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