Paul Streeten Lecture

The Paul Streeten Distinguished Lecture in Global Development Policy celebrates the example and legacy of Boston University Professor Paul Streeten as an eminent economist and interdisciplinary scholar, who has had a significant impact on global development policy. The joint sponsorship of this lecture by the Boston University Global Development Policy Center, the Institute for Economic Development and the Department of Economics reflects the breadth of Professor Streeten’s engagement at Boston University during his years as Professor of Economics and Director of the World Development Institute.


This distinguished lectureship honors Boston University Professor Paul Streeten’s rigorous scholarship, interdisciplinarity and policy involvement, which have been manifested throughout his career. Streeten made significant contributions to the economic theory of industry and trade with articles in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, The Review of Economic Studies, The Journal of International Economics and the American Economic Review. Professor Streeten also founded what has become the world’s leading interdisciplinary journal in development studies, World Development. His groundbreaking scholarly books, such as First Things First: Meeting Basic Human Needs in the Developing Countries (Oxford University Press) and Thinking About Development (Cambridge University Press), have dealt with broad and important development questions.

Professor Streeten’s scholarly research and his direct engagement with development policy have made substantial contributions to the policy discourse on global development. He served as Deputy Director General of the Economic Planning Staff of the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Overseas Development; then as senior adviser to the World Bank he helped to formulate the Bank’s policies on basic needs during the 1970s; and his scholarly work laid the foundations of what became the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Human Development Index (HDI) that emphasized and quantified the importance of education and human health as essential components of the development process. During the 1990s, he provided major inputs into the UNDP’s Human Development Report and UNESCO’s World Culture Report.

The annual Paul Streeten Distinguished Lectureship in Global Development Policy has three goals. First and foremost, it honors the impact and legacy of Paul Streeten’s scholarship and policy engagement. Second, the lectureship seeks to shine light on scholars working in the ‘Streeten tradition’ who pursue rigorous scientific research while connecting with other disciplines and the policy community to advance financial stability, human well-being, good governance and environmental sustainability across the developing world. Third, the lectureship hopes to inspire younger scholars to pursue interdisciplinary research on pressing development problems and thereafter engage actively with the policy community.

Previous Lectures
2024 Streeten Lecture, ft. Rohini Pande:

2023 Streeten Lecture, ft. Eswar Prasad:

2022 Streeten Lecture, ft. Dani Rodrik:
2021 Streeten Lecture, ft. Ann E. Harrison:

2019 Streeten Lecture, ft. Joseph E. Stiglitz: