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.

Associated Scholars

Associated Working Papers

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
BFI Working Paper Sep 10, 2019

Eat Widely, Vote Wisely? Lessons from a Campaign Against Vote Buying in Uganda

Christopher Blattman, Horacio Larreguy, Benjamin Marx, Otis Reid