***Keynote Speakers***
Jean-Phillipe Platteau
(Emeritus Professor, University of Namur and Centre for Research in Economic Development (CRED))
Philip Keefer (Principal Economic Advisor, Inter-American Development Bank)

The annual conference brings together international scholars and researchers of development economics and neighboring fields. Plenary sessions with keynote speakers, and parallel sessions with contributed papers and posters will reflect the current state of research in development economics and provide a forum for exchange for researchers and practitioners.

Local organizers:
Prof. Dr. Axel Dreher (Alfred-Weber-Institute for Economics, Heidelberg University)
Prof. Dr. Stefan Klonner (South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University)


The report takes an in-depth look at the types of finance the transition region requires to move towards sustainable growth. In the post-crisis era, growth in the region has come to a virtual standstill. As a result, there is little convergence with advanced countries and the report concludes that the region requires a variety of funding sources, as well as structural reform, to address the investment gap that currently exists.
The report assesses the balance between debt and equity financing, between foreign currency and local currency finance and between external and domestic funding. In particular, the report assesses in detail the role of private equity as a form of growth capital in the EBRD’s countries of operations. It also looks at whether the balance is right between public, household and corporate debt. Finally, the report considers how the balance between traditional western European foreign direct investment and funding from further-flung regions might be improved.

Siwan Anderson, Debraj Ray, Saturday, October 10, 2015 - 00:00

The developing world has notoriously low female-to-male sex ratios, a phenomenon that has been described as ‘missing women’. It is argued that this is driven by parental preferences for sons, sex-selective abortion, and different levels of care during infancy. This column shows that these higher rates of female mortality continue into adulthood. It argues that being unmarried, especially through widowhood, can have substantial effects on relative rates of female mortality in the developing world.

James A Robinson, Ragnar Torvik, Thierry Verdier, Monday, July 27, 2015 - 00:00

Economists have long understood that policy chosen by politics is unlikely to be socially optimal. This is because politicians face the probability of losing power and may discount the future too much, or act to improve their re-election probability. This column explores these issues taking into account the fact that future government revenue is uncertain. Public income volatility acts to reduce the efficiency of public policy. This has important implications for developing countries that rely on income from volatile sources, such as natural resource extraction.

Alexandra Lopez-Cermeño, Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 00:00

Economic historians tend to explain US geographical development gaps in terms of industrialisation. But by the end of the 20th century, the richest counties had become specialised in services, rather than in manufacturing. This column evaluates how the service economy triggered this evident contrast between the urban and rural US. Market size causes localisation of non-agricultural activity, with the effect being stronger for services, especially knowledge services. Local policymakers can thus foster growth by attracting high-skilled workers to a region, with the multiplier effect eventually increasing the local market.

Allison Demeritt, Karla Hoff, James Walsh, Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 00:00

Economists typically assume people behave in a rational and self-interested way, making standard models limited in their explanatory power. This column argues that psychological and sociological factors – though usually ignored in economic models – affect decision-making. The findings, drawn from the World Development Report, further suggest that better behavioural understanding could subsequently aid development efforts.

Vincent Somville, Lore Vandewalle, Monday, May 11, 2015 - 00:00

Making transfers to bank accounts instead of paying cash could potentially enhance savings. This column tests this hypothesis using a randomised trial from India. The evidence suggests that being paid on the account increases the balance by around 110% within three months of weekly payments. The individuals who were paid in cash do not save more in other assets, such as cash at home, but increase consumption.

Uri Dadush, Friday, March 13, 2015 - 00:00

Theodore H. Moran, Friday, January 30, 2015 - 00:00

Samuel Marden, Sunday, December 28, 2014 - 00:00

Sebastian Edwards, Friday, November 28, 2014 - 00:00

Mercedes Delgado, Christian Ketels, Michael Porter, Scott Stern, Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 00:00

Marco Annunziata, Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 00:00

Africa has generated a lot of enthusiasm lately. The cynical view of the continent as a hopeless basket case has been replaced by the lofty narrative of Africa Rising. This column argues that Africa’s progress is impressive, and there is more to the story than a commodity boom. But Africa is at a crossroads. The opportunities are huge, but the road ahead is long, and will require persistent and patient effort from policymakers as well as business.

Patricia Ellen, Jaana Remes, Saturday, July 12, 2014 - 00:00

Brazil has grown rapidly and reduced poverty over the past decade, but it has grown more slowly than other emerging economies and its income per capita remains relatively low by global standards. This column points out that sectors of the Brazilian economy that have been opened up to international competition have outperformed those that remain heavily protected. Deeper integration into global markets and value chains could provide competitive pressures that would improve Brazil’s productivity and living standards.

André Carlos Martínez, Aldo Musacchio, Martina Viarengo , Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 00:00

Institutions are known to play a powerful and enduring role in countries’ divergent levels of economic development. This column presents evidence that institutions matter for within-country inequality, too. In Brazil, changes in export prices and export tax revenues led to an increase in education spending in states that experienced commodity booms, which increased the number of schools and improved educational outcomes such as literacy rates. However, the effect was limited in states where slavery was predominant in colonial times.

Julia Cagé, Valeria Rueda, Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 00:00

African regions where Protestant missionaries were active had indigenous newspapers a century before other regions. This column argues, based on new research, that this difference has had lasting effects. Proximity to a mission that had a printing press in 1903 predicts newspaper readership today. Population density and light density (a proxy for economic development) is also higher today in regions nearer to missions that had printing presses. The results suggest that a well-functioning media – not Protestantism per se – was important for development.

Joachim De Weerdt, Kathleen Beegle, Jed Friedman, John Gibson, Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 00:00

Whereas the Millennium Development Goal of reducing extreme poverty by half was achieved by 2010, the global hunger rate has only fallen by a third since 1990. Differences in survey design may account for part of this discrepancy. This column presents the results of a recent experiment in which households were randomly assigned to different survey designs. These different designs yield vastly different hunger estimates, ranging from 19% to 68% of the population being hungry.

Eugenio Proto, Aldo Rustichini, Saturday, January 11, 2014 - 00:00

The link between higher national income and higher national life satisfaction is critical to economic policymaking. This column presents new evidence that the connection is hump-shaped. There is a clear, positive relation in the poorer nations and regions, but it flattens out at around $30,000–$35,000, and then turns negative.

Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, Roberto Ezcurra, Friday, November 29, 2013 - 00:00

Does government quality affect the size and evolution of regional inequality? This column approaches this question using regional data for 46 countries with different degrees of economic development over the period 1996-2006. We find that there is a strong negative association between quality of government and within-country disparities. Countries with better quality of government register lower levels of spatial inequality.

Lawrence Edwards, Robert Z. Lawrence, Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 00:00

Preferential import policies that allow developing markets to export to advanced economies are intended to dynamically promote development rather than just provide basic gains from trade. This column argues that the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act achieves the latter but not the former, distorting incentives along the value-added chain. While beneficial, preferential trade deals are not a panacea and are certainly not a replacement for pro-development policies.


CEPR Policy Research