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‘Breaking the Rules’: Does Economic Development Require 'Good' Institutions? Business School

Wednesday 13 April 2016
5pm

Join our free public lecture exploring how emerging countries are achieving economic growth without 'good' institutions. Presented by renowned economist and bestselling author, Ha-Joon Chang (University of Cambridge).

Chang will discuss his chapter 'Institutional Development from a Historical Perspective' in his edited volume Rethinking Development Economics (Anthem Press, 2003) with insightful updates. The paper re-examines the assumption that good institutions are required for economic development by taking a historical perspective.

Hosted by the University of Greenwich, this seminar is organised by the Economic Development Group, part of the Young Scholar Initiative (YSI), an international community of students, young professionals and researchers. YSI actively debates new and critical ways of thinking about economics.

Book your place

To register please email the seminar title along with your name and contact telephone number to BusinessEvents@greenwich.ac.uk.

About the seminar

Chang will discuss his chapter 'Institutional Development from a Historical Perspective' in his edited volume Rethinking Development Economics (Anthem Press, 2003) with insightful updates. The paper re-examines the assumption that good institutions are required for economic development by taking a historical perspective.

The idea that "institutions matter" for economic development has become increasingly accepted in both academic and policy-making circles. In particular, the highly influential 'New Institutional' school of economics maintains that differences in development between countries are essentially the result of differences in institutions: developed countries have 'good' institutions, and that is why they have developed, while developing countries have 'poor' institutions, and that is why they have not developed.

Accordingly, developing countries are often advised and even pressurised to adopt the institutions of developed countries, relating, for example, to democracy, an efficient bureaucracy and judiciary, strong protection of property rights, particular systems of corporate governance, and well-developed financial institutions.

Ha-Joon Chang challenges this paradigm. In the chapter, Chang demonstrates that many of the institutions currently being prescribed to developing countries in fact emerged in today's developed countries after they had already developed, thus refuting the notion that economic development requires 'good' institutions.

In fact, Chang shows that today's developing countries are already more institutionally advanced than were today's developed countries at comparable levels of development. The historical evidence also suggests that 'good' institutions are costly, interdependent, and multifaceted, and therefore cannot and should not be immediately or indiscriminately transplanted to developing countries.

This the second in a series on Institutions and Development run by the Economic Development Group also part of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). In our first event, we examined the work of the late Nobel-prize winner Douglass North. Although North helped instigate and long championed the 'New Institutional' approach to economics, in his later work he acknowledged that institutions are in fact manifestations of underlying political order.

Like Chang – and contrary to the New Institutional Economics – he therefore argued that simply adopting developed-country institutions will not promote – and may even exacerbate – the development process.

About Young Scholar Initiative

The Young Scholar Initiative (YSI), part of Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), is an international community comprised of students, young professionals and researchers. We embrace new and critical ways of thinking about Economics and the Economy.

The Economic Development Working Group YSI was established in 2015 aiming at in-depth open discussions on economic theories, practices and challenges in development. We regularly organise open-access webinars and seminars as means of idea exchange between respected speakers and young scholars.

Inquiries about joining our group or participate in our upcoming events, please contact Jenny Nguyen at nt18@gre.ac.uk

When

Wednesday 13 April 2016, 5pm

Venue

University of Greenwich, Stephen Lawrence Building Room SL101, Old Royal Naval College, 30 Park Row, London SE10 9LS.

Fees

This event is free to attend and open to all.

Useful links

For further information contact
Conferences and Executive Development team
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8331 9083
Email: businessevents@gre.ac.uk