Understanding Developing Countries

Aug 19, 2003Aug 22, 2003

Schedule:

Session One: August 21, 2003
The Political Economy of Development
Peter Boettke, Ph.D. 
Professor of Economics
George Mason University   

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Session Two: August 22, 2003
Globalization And Its Discontents
Peter Boettke, Ph.D. 
Professor of Economics
George Mason University 

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Session Three: August 23, 2003
Entrepreneurship And Economic Development
Emily Chamlee-Wright 
Professor of Economics
Beloit College, Wisconsin 

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Session Four: August 24, 2003
Women In A Global Economy
Emily Chamlee-Wright 
Professor of Economics
Beloit College, Wisconsin 

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For decades now, developed nations have desired to create effective ways of promoting economic growth in poor countries.  Yet fifty years after the creation of official international aid organizations, policymakers are still scratching their heads for solutions to the plight of global poverty.

Efforts at alleviating poverty have typically focused on lending to the governments of developing countries in exchange for fiscal discipline and stable monetary policy. The effectiveness of these policies, 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 concerns, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University presents a four-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 local entrepreneurs play in overall economic growth?
  • Should developed countries forgive third-world debt? What would be the consequences?