IfAD Development Economics Workshops are often co-organized with the leading international development institutions (e.g., UN institutions), aimed at focused discussion on specific economic development issues. The participants include researchers, thinkers, and practitioners who are at the forefront of national and international economic development policy debates,their formulation and implementation.

Mind, Society, and Behavior

Allison Demeritt is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on cooperative processes and organizational dynamics, and much of her work bridges rational choice models with sociological views of social interaction. She is particularly interested in how policies can harness human sociality to solve collective action problems, a topic at the heart of the WDR. Her dissertation taps this theme, examining the degree to which school-level micro-institutions explain variations in school efficacy. Before joining the WDR team, Allison worked with the Center on Reinventing Public Education investigating how governance arrangements influence the quality of educational opportunities for students, particularly those from low-income communities. Prior to graduate school, Allison worked as a public finance analyst for an investment bank and as a product manager at Amazon.com where she analyzed customer behavior and led several company-wide product development and marketing initiatives. She served as a student advisory editor for the journal Social Problems and has an AB in English from Princeton University.

Herbert GintisHerbert Gintis is an American economist, behavioral scientist, and educator known for his theoretical contributions to sociobiology, especially altruism, cooperation, epistemic game theory, gene-culture coevolution, efficiency wages, strong reciprocity, and human capital theory. Throughout his career, he has worked extensively with economist Samuel Bowles. Their landmark book, Schooling in Capitalist America, has had multiple editions in five languages since it was first published in 1976. Their most recent book, A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and its Evolution was published by Princeton University Press in 2011.

Karla Hoff is a Senior Research Economist in the Development Economics Research Group (DECRG). Much of her work focuses on using the tools of economics to study social interactions. She has studied the effect on individuals’ behavior of neighborhoods, political constituencies, and ideology. She has published papers in the American Economic Review that explain how good people can form bad neighborhoods, how productivity is sensitive to social setting, and how historical legacies influence the difficulty of establishing a rule of law. She won a Citation of Excellence for one of the top 50 papers from Emerald Management Review in 2009 for her co-authored paper, “Exiting a Lawless State.” She was a member of the MacArthur Research Network on Inequality and Economic Performance, 1996–2006. She coedited The Economics of Rural Organization and Poverty Traps. In current work, she is evaluating the effect of a large-scale women’s empowerment projects and the role of political theater for development. Her work spans conceptual analysis and grassroots fieldwork. She has a BA in French from Wellesley College and a PhD in economics from Princeton. She taught English in the Peace Corps in the Ivory Coast.

William Jack is Professor of Economics and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown. His research interests include empirical and applied microeconomics in the areas of development, public finance, and health economics, with a recent focus on microfinance, financial literacy, mobile technologies, and road safety interventions, in developing countries. He has held positions on the Joint Committee on Taxation of the US Congress, and at the IMF, the Australian National University, and the University of Sydney. He holds a BSc in mathematics and physics from the University of Western Australia, and an MPhil and DPhil in Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Muriel Niederle is a Professor of Economics at Stanford University. She is the leader in the field of experimental economics, studying gender and market design. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. Niederle is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and has served as Associate Editor of the Journal of European Economic Association, Quantitative Economics, and the American Economic Journal - Microeconomics. She has organized several SITE conferences on Experimental Economics at Stanford. Niederle has had papers published in several journals, given talks at many seminars and conferences, and has had significant news coverage of her work.


"World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior"
Speaker: Karla Hoff, World Bank
Date:16 April 2015
Time:3.30 pm - 8.30 pm
Location:McClelland Park 105

"Policy opportunities and challenges in a world of sociocultural actors"
Speaker:Alisson Demeritt (University of Washington)
Date:17 April 2015
Time:9.00 am - 10.15 am
Location:Marley 230

"Can motivational videos improve agency and self-efficacy? Evidence from a Nairobi slum"
Speaker:William Jack, Georgetown University
Date:17 April 2015
Time:10.45 am - 11.45 am
Location:Marley 230

"Gender, competitiveness, and career choices"
Speaker:Muriel Niederle, Stanford University
Time:01.30 pm - 02.30 pm

"Moral sentiments and material interests"
Speaker:Herb Gintis, Santa Fe Institute and Central European University
Time:02.30 pm - 03.30 pm

"Can culture affect the ability to coordinate efficiently? Experimental evidence from India"
Speaker:Karla Hoff, World Bank
Time:04.00 pm - 05.00 pm

"Concluding Remarks "
Speaker:TJames Buizer, University of Arizona
Time:05.00 pm - 05.15 pm

Insights from economics, law, and behavioral sciences to inform identification and designs of effective development policies and programs to promote agency and economic development.

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