The first step in attacking any problem of private or public economic policy is to ask, 'What are the facts?' To possess the relevant facts is not to assure that the policy decisions will be correct; but to make policy in ignorance of the relevant facts is to impose on intuition and luck a burden that these faculties are rarely able to bear.
- Notes of Ford Foundation Board of Trustees Meeting recommending set up of Economic Growth Center, 1960
At its founding in 1961, the Economic Growth Center was intended as the first research center in a major US university focused on the quantitative study of lower-income economies. Alongside, it would serve as a training ground for future development researchers and policy practitioners.
Today, the Economic Growth Center continues this agenda. It is the home at Yale for economic research on global development and poverty reduction. EGC researchers are applying rigorous methods to understand not only the links between economic growth and poverty, but also how rising inequality and a changing climate affects individual wellbeing, especially among marginalized groups in developing countries. EGC also hosts the masters program in International and Development Economics (IDE), the current incarnation of a program that has been running since 1955.