Yale Economic Growth Center, and the Development of Development Economics

Though a major area of economics today, the field of development economics was still nascent in the 1950s and 60s. During this period, when colonies were gaining their independence, questions of what issues should be posed by this field, by whom, and using what methods were robustly debated. Today, as Covid-19 threatens to reverse decades of progress in developing economies, the same questions are being revisited. 

In this series, we revisit the decade following the founding of the Yale Economic Growth Center in 1961, and examine how the Center sought answers to these questions through research in the field.

Lloyd Reynolds and the founding of the Economic Growth Center

At a time when few American economists were studying international development, the chair of Yale Department of Economics sought to understand economies by examining them up-close.

The life and legacy of EGC visiting economist Dudley Seers

Dudley Seers was a British economist whose insights about development economics were far ahead of their time. As a visiting fellow at Yale’s Economic Growth Center (EGC) in the early 1960s, he produced two landmark papers that still resonate today.

Decolonization, Data, and Development: The Country Studies Program at Yale’s Economic Growth Center

The flagship research program of EGC's first decade, the Country Studies initiative sent economics PhDs around the world to conduct on-the-ground research and compile data on developing countries.

The Network Effect: The Legacy of the Economic Growth Center’s Country Studies Program

Young academics recruited for research by the Economic Growth Center in the 1960s went on to prominent roles in academia, government, and finance. For many of them, the program helped shape their work and research for the rest of their careers. Article forthcoming in YaleNews.