Development Economics

Launched September 2016 Updated April 2021 7 lectures
Dr. Julie Schaffner
Tufts University, USA

Eight out of 10 people in the world live in low and middle income countries, where average incomes are rising but half the population still lives on less than $2.50 per day and hundreds of millions lack access to even minimally acceptable drinking water, sanitation, electricity, education and health care.... read moreGovernments and many for-profit and non-profit private enterprises, individually and in creative partnerships, seek to speed “development,” by which is meant a process that brings widespread and sustained improvement in well-being for people living in poorer countries. These talks on development economics are designed for students in MBA and other Masters’ degree programs who hope to become part of this work and to lead these organizations on to greater success.

The talks offer an overview of development economics and present many of the field’s most important lessons for development practice. The lessons are not one-size-fits-all policy prescriptions. Rather, they are the analytical habits that development leaders should employ, and the empirical questions they should ask, when attempting to (1) design promising new poverty reduction and development initiatives; (2) explore appropriate roles for governments and for-profit and non-profit enterprises in these initiatives; (3) identify which goals and target groups can be reached while covering costs and which require subsidy; (4) evaluate the direct and indirect impacts of development policies and programs; or (5) search for ways to improve policy performance through changes in policy design or governance.