Political Distortions and Economic Development

In this lecture, Professor Leonard Wantchekon discussed recent research on the role of political institutions in economic growth and development. He focused on frictions induced by the political process, which allows those in power to distort economic activities and public investments, and weaken market competition. Finally, Wantchekon provided an overview of institutional reforms that may curb such distortions, including improvement in government transparency, antitrust legislations, bureaucratic reforms, and campaign finance laws.

Professor Leonard Wantchekon

Photo of Leonard Wantchekon
Leonard Wantchekon, Presenter of the 31st Annual Kuznets Memorial Lecture

Leonard Wantchekon is the James Madison Professor of Political Economy and Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is also the Founder and President of the African School of Economics and the Pan African Scientific Research Council.

Wantchekon's research centers on political economy, development economics and economic history with a regional focus on Africa. He also covers substantive topics such as democracy and development, education and social mobility, and the long-term social impact of slavery and colonial rule.

Finally, Wantchekon is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) and Research Affiliate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He previously served as Vice President of the American Political Science Association and is currently on the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association.

Kuznets Mini-Conference 

As part of the 31st Annual Kuznets Lecture, a mini-conference spotlighting work of young economists will was held on Friday, April 1, 2022. Focusing on research related to the political economy of development, Wantchekon designed the agenda and will take part as a keynote speaker.

Event Details

  • Kuznets Mini-Conference: Political Distortions and Economic Development
  • Host: Yale Economic Growth Center
  • Date and time: Friday, April 1, 2022 8:00AM-2:45PM EST
  • Find out more: Kuznets Mini-Conference

30th Annual Kuznets Memorial Lecture: Poverty Reduction in the Era of Waning Globalization

Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg delivered the 30th annual Kuznets Lecture on February 27, 2020. In her talk, “Poverty Reduction in the Era of Waning Globalization”, Professor Goldberg considered the effects of rising protectionism on poverty, and discussed approaches to poverty reduction in an era of high inequality and waning globalization.