7 Billion: Development in a New World


Work­shops pro­vide a more inter­ac­tive, hands-on space for par­tic­i­pants to learn how to use new and rel­e­vant devel­op­ment tools and strategies.

Work­shop #1: The Atlas of Eco­nomic Com­plex­ity: Map­ping Paths to Prosperity
“A country’s com­pet­i­tive­ness is dri­ven by the amount of pro­duc­tive knowl­edge that its peo­ple and orga­ni­za­tions hold, and it is expressed in the vari­ety and com­plex­ity of the prod­ucts it is able to suc­cess­fully export. Pro­duc­tive knowl­edge does a remark­able job at explain­ing why coun­tries are rich or poor and why some catch up and oth­ers do not.” Ricardo Haus­mann, report co-author, Pro­fes­sor of the Prac­tice of Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment, and Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Development

The Atlas of Eco­nomic Com­plex­ity: Map­ping Paths to Pros­per­ity attempts to mea­sure the amount of pro­duc­tive knowl­edge that each coun­try holds. This mea­sure of pro­duc­tive knowl­edge can account for the enor­mous income dif­fer­ences between the nations of the world and has the capac­ity to pre­dict the rate at which coun­tries will grow. A cen­tral con­tri­bu­tion of this Atlas is the cre­ation of a map that cap­tures the sim­i­lar­ity of prod­ucts in terms of their knowl­edge require­ments. This map pro­vides paths through which pro­duc­tive knowl­edge is more eas­ily accu­mu­lated. We call this map the Prod­uct Space and use it to locate each coun­try, illus­trat­ing their cur­rent pro­duc­tive capa­bil­i­ties and the prod­ucts that lie nearby.

Work­shop par­tic­i­pants will rep­re­sent China, Colom­bia, Mex­ico, Pak­istan, South Africa, or India. With the help of Atlas co-authors and the CID team, par­tic­i­pants will use the Prod­uct Space, and col­lab­o­rate with team mem­bers to deter­mine which indus­tries will likely suc­ceed, which need fur­ther diver­si­fi­ca­tion, and the capa­bil­i­ties of the coun­try. The inter­ac­tive tools will allow par­tic­i­pants to deter­mine devel­op­ment growth for a coun­try and present their find­ings to the group at the con­clu­sion of the exercise.

In the news:

The Econ­o­mist: Com­plex­ity mat­ters
CNN: African growth? It’s complicated

Muhammed A. Yildirim | Moderator

Muhammed A. Yildirim is the Santo Domingo Growth Lab post-Doctoral Fel­low at Harvard’s Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment. Orig­i­nally from Diyarbakir, Turkey, he earned a B.S. degree in Physics and Elec­tri­cal Engi­neer­ing from the Cal­i­for­nia Insti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy in 2002 and a Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics from Har­vard Uni­ver­sity in 2009. Dr. Yildirim cur­rently works on deci­pher­ing the capa­bil­i­ties for eco­nomic growth of the coun­tries based on their pro­duc­tion struc­ture. Dr. Yildirim’s broad research inter­ests have revolved around using tools and con­cepts from com­plex­ity, net­work sci­ence and evo­lu­tion to under­stand com­plex sys­tems in a wide vari­ety of fields includ­ing eco­nomic devel­op­ment, sys­tems biol­ogy, and the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal indus­try. Yildirim’s research has been pub­lished jour­nals such as Sci­ence, Nature Biotech­nol­ogy, and Cell and has been cited extensively.

Other Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment (CID) pre­sen­ters include:

Sebas­t­ian Bus­tos (Research Fel­low, co-author of the Atlas); Jas­mina Beganovic (Research Fel­low); Juan Pablo Chau­vin (Doc­toral Fel­low); Dany Bahar (Doc­toral Fel­low); and Daniel Stock (Research Assistant).

Work­shop #2: Pro­gram Evaluation

As devel­op­ment prac­ti­tion­ers, we often find it use­ful to esti­mate the impact of a par­tic­u­lar pol­icy inter­ven­tion on aggre­gate out­comes, such as aver­age income or mor­tal­ity rates, for a given coun­try or province of inter­est, and com­pare such out­comes to those of geo­graphic enti­ties unaf­fected by the pol­icy inter­ven­tion. The idea behind the syn­thetic con­trol approach is that a com­bi­na­tion of regions often pro­vides a bet­ter com­par­i­son for the region exposed to the inter­ven­tion than any sin­gle geo­graphic entity alone. Given that many pol­icy inter­ven­tions take place at an aggre­gate level and often affect only one region, the poten­tial applic­a­bil­ity of syn­thetic con­trol meth­ods to com­par­a­tive case stud­ies is very large, espe­cially in sit­u­a­tions where tra­di­tional regres­sion meth­ods are not appro­pri­ate. Work­shop par­tic­i­pants will learn tech­niques to cal­cu­late syn­thetic con­trols which they can then apply to their own pol­icy inter­ven­tions of interest.

Alberto Abadie | Har­vard University

Alberto Abadie is a Pro­fes­sor of Pub­lic Pol­icy at the Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment at Har­vard. His main research areas are econo­met­rics, labor eco­nom­ics, and pub­lic finance. In his research, Abadie has devel­oped econo­met­ric meth­ods to eval­u­ate the effects of pub­lic pro­grams. In addi­tion, as a native of the Basque region of Spain, he has long been inter­ested in issues con­cern­ing ter­ror­ism. Alberto Abadie’s recent research uses data and eco­nomic mod­els to ana­lyze the causes and con­se­quences of ter­ror­ism. He received his PhD in eco­nom­ics from the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Technology.

Work­shop #3: Food Wars in Africa? Work­shop on Food Secu­rity and Con­flict in Soma­lia, Mali and Beyond

What’s behind last year’s famine in Soma­lia and the cur­rent cri­sis in Mali? This work­shop explores the con­nec­tion between food secu­rity, con­flict and eco­nomic devel­op­ment. An engag­ing and inter­ac­tive dis­cus­sion will be led by Will Mas­ters, Pro­fes­sor of Food Pol­icy in the School of Nutri­tion at Tufts Uni­ver­sity, and Ishac Diwan, Lec­turer in Pub­lic Pol­icy at HKS. Spe­cial guest to include an expert from Tuareg region.

William A. Mas­ters | Tufts University

Will Mas­ters is a Pro­fes­sor and Chair of the Depart­ment of Food and Nutri­tion Pol­icy at the Fried­man School of Nutri­tion, Tufts Uni­ver­sity. His research focuses on the eco­nom­ics of agri­cul­ture and nutri­tion in rural Africa; before com­ing to Tufts in July 2010 he was a fac­ulty mem­ber in Agri­cul­tural Eco­nom­ics at Pur­due Uni­ver­sity (1991–2010), and also at the Uni­ver­sity of Zim­babwe (1989–90), Harvard’s Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment (2000) and Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity (2003–04). From 2006 through 2011 he edited Agri­cul­tural Eco­nom­ics, the jour­nal of the Inter­na­tional Asso­ci­a­tion of Agri­cul­tural Econ­o­mists, and in 2010 he was named an Inter­na­tional Fel­low of the African Asso­ci­a­tion of Agri­cul­tural Economists.

Ishac Diwan | Har­vard University

Ishac Diwan is a lec­turer on pub­lic pol­icy at the Har­vard Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment and is the direc­tor for Africa and the Mid­dle East at the growth lab of the Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment. Diwan is also direct­ing the Eco­nomic and Polit­i­cal Trans­for­ma­tion pro­gram of the Eco­nomic Research Forum. Diwan has a PhD in Eco­nom­ics from the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley and taught inter­na­tional finance at New York University’s Busi­ness School. Diwan worked with the World Bank’s Mid­dle East depart­ment as the coun­try econ­o­mist for the West Bank and Gaza, as an advi­sor to the emerg­ing Pales­tin­ian Author­ity, and as a regional econ­o­mist. He con­tributed to the cre­ation of the prime net­work of econ­o­mists in the Mid­dle East, the Eco­nomic Research Forum, and the Mediter­ranean Devel­op­ment Forum. Diwan also led the Bank’s Eco­nomic Pol­icy group, cre­at­ing the Attack­ing Poverty Pro­gram and con­tribut­ing to the ini­ti­a­tion of the Global Devel­op­ment Net­work. Diwan served as the Bank’s Coun­try Direc­tor for Ethiopia, Sudan, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burk­ina Faso, and Guinea. Diwan led sev­eral ambi­tious ini­tia­tives, such as Ethiopia’s Pro­duc­tive Safety Net, Ethiopia’s Pro­tec­tion of Basic Ser­vices Pro­gram, and West African ini­tia­tives to sup­port the devel­op­ment of nat­ural resources. Diwan has worked on con­flict pre­ven­tion and on state build­ing (in Pales­tine, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Yemen, Guinea) and has par­tic­i­pated in the Sudan Com­pre­hen­sive Peace Agree­ment, the Dar­fur Peace Nego­ti­a­tions, and the Oslo negotiations.