The Economic Growth Center at 60
The Yale Economic Growth Center was established through a Ford Foundation grant in 1961 with the mission to promote the “quantitative study of low-income economies.”
Since then, economic growth has pulled billions out of poverty and changed the geography of need: the majority of the world's extreme poor no longer live in the world’s poorest countries as they did in 1961, but in middle-income countries marred by high inequality. Meanwhile, trends in technology and the risk of climate breakdown have narrowed the traditional pathway of poverty reduction through growth. Within-country markers of historic disadvantage such as gender, ethnicity, and race continue to predict economic disadvantage, and domestic politics still limits the sharing of resources across the globe – despite the clear need highlighted by climate-related disasters and the Covid-19 pandemic.
How should development researchers respond? The EGC 2020-21 Annual Report features the many ways our affiliates are grappling with questions about how the gains of economic growth are to be distributed in coming years, and why institutions intended for equal distribution still permit the concentration of economic and political power in the hands of the few.
I invite you to follow the link and read highlights from EGC’s strategy for accomplishing our goals – and about the rich and diverse research our affiliates conducted during the 2020-21 Academic Year. You will see a timeline that charts our history, hear from the students we support, learn about new initiatives we are launching, and find opportunities to engage with us.
The Center exists to support the research and teaching in economics of those at Yale engaged with challenges facing lower-income countries. Please feel free to email me directly with any thoughts or suggestions on our priorities and direction as we set a course for the coming years.
Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics
Director, Economic Growth Center