Harvard’s Center for International Development (CID) hosted its annual Global Empowerment Meeting (GEM) on April 13th and 14th, 2016. This year’s event was made possible in collaboration with the MasterCard Foundation. In its eighth year, GEM continues to feature cutting-edge research and initiatives in global development and bring together business leaders, policymakers and academics to discuss ideas that revolutionize development paradigms. This year’s theme was on learning—how individuals and societies learn and the vast socio-economic implications of this process.
Diversification is critical to a country’s long term economic growth plan, especially as many older industries shrink in a world of globalization and rapid technological evolution. But establishing new industries in a region requires access to workers with the right skills and know-how. By definition, local workers lack experience in these new industries. So how do “pioneer” plants, the plants that are the first of their kind in a region, overcome this difficulty? Do they train locals or hire experienced workers from elsewhere? New research at the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University finds that pioneers are much more likely than other plants to hire their better-paid, higher-skilled workers from outside the region, lending evidence that mobility of workers is crucial for new industries to diffuse.... Read more about Mobility of Workers Key for Diffusion of Industries
The Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University has been ranked the 2nd best university think tank and 5th best international development think tank, according to UPenn's new 2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index.
The Index - produced annually by James McGann, director of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania’...
It’s easy to be a bit nostalgic for work pre-internet, when research could involve exploring the dusty confines of the British Library or the excitement of digging out an old tome from a government archive with numbers on Ugandan coffee exports from 1957. But nothing really beats the satisfaction available today from downloading in just three or four clicks the entire import-export database for the same country. Yet, it can be tempting to make Wikipedia or Google the default for research. So, here are some gems which make international development research better, easier and more productive.
Bogotá - En agosto de 2014, se anunció la creación del Atlas de la Complejidad Económica, liderado por el profesor Ricardo Hausmann de la Universidad de Harvard, para identificar las potencialidades de cada región. El presidente de Bancóldex, Luis Fernando Castro, habló con LR sobre los primeros hallazgos que está entregando esta herramienta, que se publicaría por completo dentro de un mes.
What do you think are the key determinants of a country’s economic and social development?
Life in modern-day society is complex. It requires numerous complementary ingredients and, if just one of them is missing, it will have huge negative effects. Thus, two equally poor countries may suffer from the absence of very different ingredients. This is also why simple recipes, such as education, microcredit or “institutions”, are inadequate answers. But if I had to come up with a synthetic vision to encompass all developing countries, I would say that the secret to development or, in any case, the most difficult ingredient to accumulate is collective know-how or knowing-how-to-do things. The secret to prosperity is technology, but technology is expressed in three kinds of elements: tools or equipment, codes or prescriptions, and know-how or tacit knowledge. While tools and prescriptions are easy to disseminate, know-how is hard to spread, because it is acquired slowly through imitation and repetition, in the same way that we learn to walk or learn a language as children. Nobody learns to play a sport or diagnose a patient by reading about it. It requires years of practice.... Read more about Q&A with Ricardo Hausmann
The challenges of economic growth are very different in different countries. The U.S. and Europe face a certain set of issues that look very different from the issues faced in China or India, or the issues faced in the Americas or in...
Financial crises are a bit like airplane crashes. Airplanes, and banks, operate well most of the time. But every so often they crash with very bad consequences and our strategy is to do a forensic study of the last crash, see what we learn, and incorporate that learning into the system so that we might prevent the recurrence of the same kind of crash. In aviation, that has made air travel incredibly safe, to the point that, right now, the Civil Aviation Board does not only analyze crashes but they also analyze “near misses” because there are so few crashes that it’s very hard to keep on learning. So near misses are a way to reduce the likelihood of bad things happening that have not really happened.... Read more about How Should We Prevent the Next Financial Crisis?
Inequality is the result of many different phenomena. Some of them should be a source of policy concern while others should not. My main problem is the inequality that arises from differences in productivity—namely, differences in productivity across regions, across cities, within cities and across social groups. We know that there are huge differences in income across countries of the world: the richest countries are 200 to 300 times richer than the poorest countries in per capita terms. That’s inequality at the global scale.... Read more about What Should We Do About Inequality?