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The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World
December 5, 2011Washington, DC

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Nobel Laureate A. Michael Spence joined New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business as a professor of economics in September 2010. He is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Philip H. Knight Professor Emeritus of Management in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Professor Spence, whose scholarship focuses on economic policy in emerging markets, the economics of information, and the impact of leadership on economic growth, was chairman of the independent Commission on Growth and Development (2006 - 2010), a global policy group focused on strategies for producing rapid and sustainable economic growth, and reducing poverty. He also serves as a consultant to PIMCO, a senior adviser at Oak Hill Investment Management, and as a member of the board of the Stanford Management Company as well as a number of public and private companies.

A Rhodes Scholar and the recipient of many honors and awards, Professor Spence was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001 and the John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economics Association in 1981. He is the author of three books and 50 articles, and is a member of the American Economic Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society.

Professor Spence served as Philip H. Knight Professor and dean of the Stanford Business School from 1990 to 1999. Before that, he was a professor of economics and business administration at Harvard University, chairman of its economics department, and dean of its Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Professor Spence earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1972, a B.A./M.A. from Oxford University in 1968 and a B.A. (summa cum laude) from Princeton University in 1966.
 

This lecture describes how the recent period of growth in developing countries is leading to a convergence with the advanced countries, or developed world.

He lays out a framework for how the global economy will develop over the next fifty years, and offers much needed wisdom on how to sustain economic growth in advanced and developing countries. He explores the following questions:

  • Can we learn over time to manage something as complex as the emerging and evolving global economy, with its rising interdependencies and complexity?
  • What will happen to populations, incomes, natural resources, and the environment?
  • Is it possible for the fourfold increase in the ranks of the relatively wealthy to continue, or is there a massive multidimensional "adding up" problem in which what was possible for a "few" will not be possible for the "many"?
  • Is the management and governance of the global economy that was in place for the last quarter century going to work in the future, or is it going to need fundamental change? 

The Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) launched its lecture series in April 2005 to bring distinguished academics to the Bank to present and discuss new knowledge on development. The purpose of the Lecture Series is to introduce ideas on cutting edge research, challenge and contribute to the Bank's intellectual climate, and reexamine current development theories and practices. The Lectures revisit issues of long-standing concern and explore emerging issues that promise to be central to future development discourse. The Lecture Series reflects DEC’s commitment to intellectual leadership and openness in embracing future challenges to reduce poverty.

The DEC Lecture Series is chaired by Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, and includes a presentation and floor discussion.
 

Lecture Details
  • Date: December 5, 2011
  • Time: 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
  • Venue: MC2-800