USAID Forum Series 6: The Interaction Thesis

Apr 04, 2003
<p>Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Hemisphere B<br /> </p>

For information on this program, please contact the Global Prosperity Initiative at 703-993-4930.

USAID Forum Series 6, "The Interaction Thesis: Alternative New Instituional Economics Perspectives on Development and the Dilemmas of Foreign Aid Policy," builds on the previous USAID/IRIS forums with a shift of focus to aspects of the GPI perspective essential for effective development economics and public policy. 

The Forum lays out an analytic framework for evaluating development policy, emphasizing the interaction between the informal and formal rules that govern the economic reform process, and the difficulties dissonance between formal and informal rules create for policymakers. 

By augmenting the existing New Institutional Economics with insights from market process, public choice, and constitutional political economy, we will provide a richer account of incentive alignment and the importance of country-specific norms and tradition when considering development projects.
The Forum brought world-class scholars together with USAID practitioners to discuss a vision for a new comparative political economy, what that theory means given institutional dissonance, and how certain kinds of institutions facilitate economic growth according to the new insights from experimental economics.

Three original papers were generated and comments on each were solicited from scholars and practitioners as we built towards practical applications in the New Institutional Economics literature.


9:00-9:05 - Welcome and Introduction:
                  Fred Witthans, USAID
                  Peter Boettke , Mercatus Center, George Mason

9:15-10:45 - Session One Comparative Political Economy and its Relevance for Development Policy
9:15-9:35 - Peter Boettke , Mercatus Center, George Mason
9:35-9:45 - John Nye, Washington University, St. Louis
9:45-9:55 - John Simon, USAID
9:55-10:45 - Moderated Panel Discussion

10:45-11:15 Break 

11:15-12:40 - Session Two The Interaction Thesis: Institutions and Culture
11:15-11:35 - Steve Pejovich, Texas A&M University
11:35-11:45 - James Buchanan, George Mason University
11:45-11:55 - Fred Witthans, USAID
11:55-12:40 - Moderated Panel Discussion

12:40 – 2:00 Catered Lunch 

2:00-3:30 - Session Three Institutional Analyses: Evidence from Experiments
2:00-2:20 - Kevin McCabe, George Mason University
2:20-2:30 - Paul Zak, Claremont Graduate University
2:30-2:40 - Jonathan Conly, USAID
2:40-3:30 - Moderated Panel Discussion Break 3:30-3:45

3:45-5:00 - Session Four Implications and Next Steps
3:45-4:45 - Panel Discussion: Prepared Questions
4:45-5:00 - Closing and Next Steps: Peter Boettke