Global Development Seminar

BU Global Development regularly organizes seminars and other events on development topics, normally twice each Fall and Spring Semester.

The development process is complex, posing challenges of truly global proportions and urgency. In 2007, half of the world’s six billion people lived in what the World Bank defines as “poverty,” that is, on less than two dollars a day.

The events sponsored by BU Global Development help our students to understand the range of issues involved in global poverty by bringing to BU noted researchers and practitioners to speak on development topics. These speakers bring their expertise to bear on a variety of issues involved in development, encompassing the disparate factors that cause widespread poverty, the variety of approaches to alleviate poverty and its effects, and the practice of developing effective policies to encourage development.

Please see Global Development: Upcoming Events for the complete list of seminars and other events offered in all areas of interest. The lectures on economics, both upcoming and past, are also listed below.

Upcoming Global Development Seminars in Economics

There are currently no upcoming Global Development Seminars in Economics scheduled.

Previous Global Development Seminars in Economics

April 25, 2014: Leonard Wantchekon, “Critical Junctures: Independence Movements and Democracy in Africa”


Time: 5:00 to 6:30 pm

Location: George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 315, Boston University.

Reception to follow in Room 310.

Wantchekon is Professor in the Politics department and associated faculty in the Economics department at Princeton University His research is broadly focused on political and economic development, particularly in Africa. His specific interests include democratization, clientelism and redistributive politics, the resource curse, and the long-term social impact of historical events. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the founder the Africa School of Economics (ASE) set to open in Benin in September 2014.

March 19, 2013: Michael Kremer, “Randomized Evaluations of Health in Developing Countries”

Kremer_MichaelTime: 12:00 to 2:00 pm

Location: The Castle, 225 Bay State Road

The lecture will summarize evidence from the growing body of randomized evaluations on health in developing countries. Across a variety of contexts, consumer use of cost-effective products for prevention and non-acute care is highly sensitive to price and convenience, creating many opportunities for improving health substantially at low cost. The challenge of improving the quality of health services for treatment of disease is much harder. Health care delivery in many developing countries is very poor, with weak incentives for public-sector health workers. Reforms that strengthen incentives show promise but institutional details matter.

Dr. Kremer is the Gates Professor of Developing Societies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Presidential Faculty Fellowship, and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Kremer’s recent research examines education and health, water, and agriculture in developing countries. In 2006, Scientific American named him one of the 50 researchers of the year. He helped develop the advance market commitment (AMC) for vaccines to stimulate private investment in vaccine research and the distribution of vaccines for diseases in the developing world. He is a co-founder of Deworm the World, which promotes school-based deworming in the developing world, and is president of its board. In the fall of 2010 he became the founding Scientific Director of Development Innovation Ventures at USAID. Dr. Kremer received his PhD in Economics from Harvard University.

April 27, 2012: Dani Rodik, “Structural Change and Economic Development”

Rodrik_DaniTime: 4:00 to 7:00 pm

Location: The Castle, 225 Bay State Road

Professor Dani Rodrik is the Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He has published widely in the areas of international economics, economic development, and political economy.

Rodrik was awarded the inaugural Albert O. Hirschman Prize of the Social Science Research Council in 2007. He has also received the Leontief Award for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought, honorary doctorates from the University of Antwerp and Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, and research grants from the Carnegie Corporation, Ford Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation. He is affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, Centre for Economic Policy Research (London), Center for Global Development, and Council on Foreign Relations.

Professor Rodrik’s articles have been published in the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Economic Growth, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Development Economics, and other academic journals. His 1997 book Has Globalization Gone Too Far? was called “one of the most important economics books of the decade” in Business Week. He is also the author of One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth (Princeton 2007) and of The New Global Economy and Developing Countries: Making Openness Work (Overseas Development Council, Washington DC, 1999). His most recent book, The Globalization Paradox, was published by Norton in 2011.

Rodrik is a past editor of the Review of Economics and Statistics. He has given, among others, the Bharat Ram Memorial Seminar in Delhi (2011), the Merih Celasun Memorial Lecture in Ankara (2010), the Sir Arthur Lewis Distinguished Lecture at the University of the West Indies, Barbados (2009), the Yan Fu Memorial Lecture in Beijing (2006), the WIDER Annual Lecture (2004), the Gaston Eyskens Lectures (2002), the Carlos F. Diaz Alejandro Lecture at the Latin American meeting of the Econometric Society (2001), the Alfred Marshall Lecture of the European Economic Association (1996), and the Raul Prebisch Lecture of UNCTAD (1997). His most recent research is concerned with the determinants of economics growth and the consequences of international economic integration.

Rodik holds a Ph.D. in economics and an MPA from Princeton University, and an A.B. (summa cum laude) from Harvard College.

February 23, 2011: Joel Lamstein

Time: 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm

Location: The Castle, 225 Bay State Road

Joel Lamstein is co-founder and president of John Snow Inc (JSI), an international public health consulting group, and he is also president of World Education, a nonprofit organization working to improve people’s lives around the world. He has been a member of the board of directors of the Global Health Council since 2004 and served as acting president and chief executive officer of the Council from February to July 2009. In 2010, he was appointed to a two year term as head of the Global Health Council.

Lamstein is also a senior lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health and sits on the dean’s advisory committees of the University of Michigan and Boston University schools of public health. He received his BS from the University of Michigan, and attended the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2009, Lamstein was selected as the recipient of the Lewis Family Foundation CEO Social Leadership Award, given by the Boston Business Journal.

November 5, 2010: Esther Duflo, “Randomized Experiments: What do they say about Development?”

Esther Duflo

Lecture: 1:30 – 3:00 pm
Reception: 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: The Castle, 225 Bay State Road

Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at MIT and a founder and director of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a research network specializing in randomized evaluations of social programs, which won the BBVA Foundation “Frontier of Knowledge” award in the development cooperation category. Duflo is an NBER Research Associate, serves on the board of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and is Director of the Center of Economic Policy Research’s development economics program. Her research focuses on microeconomic issues in developing countries, including household behavior, education, access to finance, health and policy evaluation.

Duflo completed her undergraduate studies at L’Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris in 1994, received a master’s degree from DELTA in Paris in 1995, and completed a PhD in Economics at MIT in 1999. Upon completing her MIT PhD she was appointed assistant professor of economics at MIT, and has been at MIT ever since, aside from being on leave to Princeton University in 2001-2002.

Duflo has received numerous academic honors and prizes including the John Bates Clark Medal (2010), a MacArthur Fellowship (2009), the American Economic Association’s Elaine Bennett Prize for Research (2003), the “Best French Young Economist Prize” (Le Monde/Cercle des economistes, 2005), the Médaille de Bronze (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 2005), and the Prix Luc Durand-Reville (Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, 2008). In 2008-2009 she was the inaugural holder of the international chair “Knowledge Against Poverty” at the College de France.

After being a co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics and the Review of Economics and Statistics, she currently serves as the founding editor of the AEJ: Applied Economics.