Aid and Trade: Searching for Solutions to Global Poverty

May 17, 2005May 19, 2005


Day One: Tuesday, May 15 
An Economic Understanding of Global Poverty 
Dr. Pete Boettke 
Professor of Economics
George Mason University

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

Day Two: Wednesday, May 16 
Why Development is a Pillar of US Foreign Policy
Dr. Jack Goldstone
Professor of Public Policy and Eminent Scholar
George Mason University

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Day Three: Thursday, May 17 
Legal Reform in Developing Countries 
Dr. Todd Zywicki 
Professor of Law
George Mason University School of Law

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Recently, efforts at alleviating global poverty have focused on lending to governments of developing countries in exchange for fiscal discipline and stable monetary policy.  The effectiveness of this policy, however, is limited by domestic cultural institutions, corruption, and a lack of local knowledge.  These problems, if ignored in policy prescriptions, can carry serious implications and may dramatically affect a developing country’s ability to prosper.

Given the complex mix of politics, economics, and culture, how can Congress develop policies that improve the welfare of developing nations?  To help policymakers sort through these pressing concerns, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University presents a three-day course that will develop a framework for analyzing these problems. Participants will gain a greater understanding of questions such as:

  • What political institutions stimulate or constrain economic development?
  • What prevents some foreign aid from being effective?  How can we make it more effective? 
  • How can countries attract investment and raise capital?  What role does culture play in the process?  What role do legal institutions play in the process?
  • Should developed countries forgive third-world debt?  What would be the consequences?

Course participants will leave with a framework for understanding the institutions and needs of developing nations, as well as the ability to identify policies that would encourage prosperity in the developing world.