Development economics: people, choices, and well-being

Published on April 12, 2017   33 min
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Welcome to this second Henry Stewart Talk on Development Economics. I'm Julie Schaffner, I'm a Development Economist in The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
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In the first talk of this series, we defined development as a process of economic and social change that brings sustained and widespread improvements in well-being. This definition raises two fundamental questions for the study of development, both of which point to the importance of taking a close look at the people who live in developing countries. First, what is well-being? What are the ways that life could improve for people that would constitute the improvements in well-being that we hope for in successful development? Answering this question is important for defining the objectives that should guide development work. Second, what levers might development actors such as governments, non-governmental organization, social entrepreneurs, and others use to raise household's we'll-being? How can the policies they put in place ultimately connect with people in ways that raise their well-being? I see this as a useful starting point for brainstorming about development policy where I'm using the term policy very broadly to mean all the kinds of programs, initiatives, or reforms that development actors of many types might undertake with the aim of contributing to development. So these are the big questions we want to begin answering in this talk. As we do, I'll be using two key terms that I would like to define upfront.
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Development economics: people, choices, and well-being

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