A successful inaugural year for the Kuznets Visitors Program
by Greg Larson
June 14, 2023
Throughout the 2022-23 academic year, ten economists from around the world – including Colombia, Costa Rica, France, and Mexico – visited Yale for brief residencies, marking a successful inaugural year for the Kuznets Visitors Program.
Launched in fall 2022 by the Economic Growth Center, the program invites outside scholars to campus for 1-2 weeks to collaborate with Yale faculty, share research, and connect with students, with a goal of deepening Yale’s connections with the broader development community.
Participants in the program are economists outside Yale who are nominated by EGC faculty affiliates, and can work on a diverse set of questions in development. In particular, EGC encourages participation from groups that are under-represented in the economics profession, as well as scholars from low- and lower-middle-income countries.
The program offers participants a break from the day-to-day responsibilities of their home institutions, which benefits their scholarship and can help them reconnect with what drew them to their research topics in the first place.
“Working with my dear friends at Yale was reinvigorating and enriching, and helped jump-start new stages in several research projects focused on early childhood education,” said Raquel Bernal, a Professor of Economics and President at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. “These projects are very close to my heart, because I am convinced that educating children is the answer to many of the issues we face in developing countries, including inequality, growth, and development.”
“It was great to have Raquel visit for a week,” said Orazio Attanasio, the Cowles Professor of Economics and an EGC affiliate, who collaborates with Bernal on early years interventions and child development research and nominated her for the program. “Her visit also helped reinforce our connections with the Universidad de los Andes, one of Colombia’s best universities.”
Given her dual role as a researcher and university president, Bernal also met with Yale leaders while on campus – including President Peter Salovey, Provost Scott Strobel, and Lucas Swineford, the Executive Director of Digital Education at the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning.
“I learned about Yale’s latest developments and its take on the new challenges facing higher education,” Bernal said. “These conversations were extremely insightful and enlightening, and will be of much help at Los Andes – where we are also thinking about what our next couple of decades will look like, in the face of fast technological transformation and artificial intelligence.”