Episode 33: Complexity and Development

This is a special edition of Development Drums. Instead of interviewing a guest, as normal, we bring you a presentation on Complexity and Development by Owen Barder.

This is the audio-only version of an online presentation with slides, which is available from the Center for Global Development.

You can also download the slides and full transcript.

In this presentation, adapted from his Kapuściński Lecture of May 2012, Owen Barder explores the implications of complexity theory for development policy. He explains how traditional economic models have tried and failed to understand why some countries have managed to improve living standards while other countries have not. Drawing on ideas about complex adaptive systems developed in in physics and biology, he argues that development is a property of a system, not the sum of what happen   s to the people within it.

This view of development has important policy implications for policy-makers who want to bring about faster development in their own country, or to help other countries to make faster progress.  The presentation finishes with seven implications for development policy.

This Development Drums podcast is just the audio, for those who want to listen to the presentation in the gym or during their commute. If you would rather see the full presentation including slides, you can do so on the CGD website.

 

 

Size: 41.5 Mb

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Comments

Thank you so much for all of these podcasts. The questions are very well thought-out and the information is clear and add new insight.

As a rookie in the field, it is all too easy to feel overwhelmed by all there is to know about, and then try to do, along with figuring out what angle to personally approach development. This can lead to periods of profound cynicism. Your podcasts have really kept the drums sounding, helping me keep focused and engaged. Thank you!

[...] sort of linear thinking in much macro-economic international development policy of the 70s and 80s in his recent Development Drums podcast lecture on complexity and development. The lecture explores the question of how countries with similar levels of ‘raw materials’ in [...]

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