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Learning What to Look For: Hard Measures of Soft Skills in Promotion

Abstract: We report the results of a field experiment designed to promote women to supervisory positions in Bangladesh’s garment factories, with which participating factories have little prior experience. We show that formal diagnostic tests lead factories to choose candidates that…

Aspirations in Economics: A Review

Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on aspirations in economics, with a particular focus on socially determined aspirations. The core theory builds on two fundamental principles: (a) aspirations can serve to inspire, but still higher aspirations can lead to frustration…

Power for the People: how should governments develop electric grids?

More than a billion people currently live without access to electricity in their homes. As policymakers push for increased electricity access, Susanna Berkouwer (University of California, Berkley) examines the work EDI is doing to answer the key question: how can…

How do institutions affect economic development?

The Economic Development & Institutions (EDI) research programme aims to provide evidence and insights into what practical actions can be undertaken to produce institutional changes that will improve a country’s economic development and growth. The importance of a country’s institutions…

Highlights from the Economic Development & Institutions conference 2019

Between 3 and 4 June 2019, the Economic Development & Institutions programme hosted its annual general conference. The event, held in Paris, brought together nearly 50 EDI researchers, members of the scientific committees, independent advisory committee and programme management staff….

Spotlight on Formal and Informal Institutions

Louis Kasekende (Deputy Governor, Bank of Uganda) discusses the role of formal and informal institutions in the financial sector. He refers to recent EDI path-finding research papers to focus on the transition from informal to formal institutions and its effect…

Spotlight on Conflict and Development

Joan Esteban (Institute for Economic Analysis) and Debraj Ray (New York University) explain how civil wars are the major impediments to growth, and offer three lessons from existing research. Watch our Spotlight on Conflict and Development below:

Spotlight on Migration and Institutions

Kaivan Munshi (University of Cambridge) explores how labour movements and development are linked, and provides insight into the role of policy around this area. Watch the video below for his overview:

Spotlight on Inequality and Institutions

Sam Bowles of the Santa Fe Institute explains how institutions are the rules of the game, that regulate how we interact with each other. “If we don’t understand how institutions work, we can’t possibly understand how economies change,” he says….

An Introduction to Economic Development & Institutions

A number of EDI colleagues and advisors provide an introductory overview of the Economic Development and Institutions research programme. “If you want to reduce the income gap between the poorest and non-poorest countries in the world, then you have to…


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