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  /  Program   /  Griliches Lectures in Applied Economics at LAMES

Griliches Lectures in Applied Economics at LAMES


Oriana Bandiera This year Griliches Lectures entitled “Organizing Development” will be taught by Oriana Bandiera, professor at Sir Anthony Atkinson Chair in Economics at the London School of Economics.


Fundamentally people are poor because their labor is not paid enough to afford basic needs. To understand development we need to understand the jobs of the poor and how they change over the development path.

The traditional view of development is that of a structural change from agriculture to industry and services. These lectures document that parallel to this process there is a process of change in the way labor is organized. At very low levels of income, individuals work independently, either as self-employed combining their labor with land or livestock, or, if they do not own any assets, selling their labor to those who do. Over the process of development we see people coming together in organizations of increasing complexity, from a handful of people -often family members- working together in microenterprises to the large multi-sector organizations that account for most of the employment in rich economies today. The reason this matters is that it is closely linked to the allocation of talent which is a key determinant of growth.

The three lectures will review recent evidence on this process of organizational change, and on how it can have multiple equilibria leading to poverty traps.

    Will begin by documenting how the organization of labor changes over the course of development using the newly assembled “Jobs of the World” Database and will then move to a novel test for poverty traps among some of the world’s most disadvantaged women in Bangladesh.
    Will review the challenges in matching workers with firms when markets are thin. We will see how small changes can shift equilibria and have much stronger impact when they do.
    Will discuss gender as the other key reason leading to misallocation. We will review recent work that uses personnel data of a large MNE to calibrate the effect of the misallocation of women’s talent on productivity.