Economists Gather to Discuss Growth and Development Policies

April 25, 2007
Doug Gavel

Senior economists from the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and the African Development Bank congregated at the Kennedy School last week to examine and debate the latest theories on growth and development policy as part of a Kennedy School Executive Education program, designed and taught by the Center for International Development (CID).

The New Thinking on Growth and Development Policy Executive Education program, developed by Kennedy School Professors Ricardo Hausmann, Rohini Pande, and Dani Rodrik and Columbia University Professor Charles L. Sabel, is based on four important breakthroughs in recent research and thinking on growth and development. These include new techniques for diagnosing growth problems at the macro level; experimental techniques used in analyzing market, policy and program failures at the micro level; the analysis of the obstacles to structural transformation and their implications; and new thinking in the design of policy processes.

The new ideas were integrated into the discussion of issues such as credit markets, microfinance, corruption, industrial policy, health and education. These ideas were brought together through discussions of specific cases including education in Pakistan, health in Rajastan, corruption in particular government services in India and Indonesia, and a discussion of a case on growth in South Africa. The 53 program participants have senior responsibilities in all developing regions of the world.

Following the program’s conclusion, Hausmann commented, “It is always a challenge to take a group of professionals at the top of their game and try to expose them to paradigm-shifting ideas in their area of work. Nevertheless, that is what we aimed for, and according to the participants, that is what we achieved.”

Photo: Kennedy School News Office

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Dani Rodrik image

Dani Rodrik, Kennedy School professor of international political economy, was one of the developers of the Executive Education program - New Thinking on Growth and Development Policy.