Many developing countries confront a common set of challenges, and policymakers in those countries often lack access to reliable and relevant explanations and evidence to help inform decision-making.

  • What is the right mix of policies, investments, and incentives needed to spur industrial growth?
  • How can policymakers ensure that prosperity is widely distributed and addresses the most extreme forms of poverty?
  • What policies promote more effective government and more free societies?
  • How can societies prevent and respond to economic and political instability?

Together, these are the defining problems of the 21st century. They do not demand a new approach to economics or new tools. Instead, these problems demand that economists turn their attention, models, and analysis toward new places and a new set of questions.

The Development Economics Initiative brings together 20+ scholars from across the UChicago community for a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to addressing these challenges. Through rigorous research and active engagement with policymakers and stakeholders, UChicago scholars can push the frontiers of research and have real world impact.

2020-21 Field Requirements

Associated Scholars

Associated Working Papers

BFI Working Paper Mar 27, 2020

Building Resilient Health Systems: Experimental Evidence from Sierra Leone and the 2014 Ebola Outbreak

Darin Christensen, Oeindrila Dube, Johannes Haushofer, Bilal Siddiqi, Maarten Voors
Topics:  Health care, COVID-19
BFI Working Paper Jan 31, 2020

Spillover Impacts on Education from Employment Guarantees

Anjali Adukia
Topics:  Early Childhood Education, Economic Mobility & Poverty, Employment & Wages, Health care, K-12 Education
BFI Working Paper Oct 30, 2019

How Effective Are Monetary Incentives to Vote? Evidence from a Nationwide Policy

Mariella Gonzales, Gianmarco León Ciliotta, Luis Martínez

Associated News

Media Mention Mar 26, 2020

Hidden Brain: How Trust May Help To Limit A Disease Outbreak

NPR; Oeindrila Dube
Topics:  Health care, COVID-19
Media Mention Mar 26, 2020

How You Can Protect Your Community, Not Just Your Own Health

New York Times; Katherine Baicker, Oeindrila Dube
Topics:  Health care, COVID-19
Media Mention Nov 15, 2019

India’s National Education Policy: A Need to Look Beyond the Classroom to Improve Results

VoxDev; Anjali Adukia
Topics:  Economic Mobility & Poverty, Employment & Wages, K-12 Education