Episode 48: Stefan Dercon – Gambling on Development

Stefan Dercon is Professor of Economic Policy and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford. He is a former DFID chief economist and a policy advisor to the UK foreign secretary.

Stefan Dercon argues that countries develop if they achieve an elite bargain, in which the country’s elites gamble on a future with economic growth and shared rising living standards. He cites examples such as China, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and China as examples of this, in contrast to other countries in which the elite has not gambled on development. Stefan draws on considerable experience in low-income countries, complementing his analysis with examples of development trajectories that have, and have not, succeeded.