Growth Week 2016

Growth Week 2016, the International Growth Centre’s annual conference, took place from 13 June at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

This three-day event brought together the IGC’s international network of world-leading researchers, institutional partners and policymakers from partner countries in Africa and South Asia, and featured a series of presentations on top level economic growth research, regional policy sessions and public lectures.

Growth Week has been a key opportunity for researchers and policymakers to connect and discuss fresh and innovative growth ideas, with the aim of sharing knowledge and generating new research projects.

We tweeted live on the hashtag: #GrowthWeek

Public Lectures

We also hosted two public lectures at LSE that were open to the public as part of Growth Week 2016. Please visit the links below for more information. Podcasts and video recordings are also available.

Industrial development: China and Africa

Date: Wednesday 1 June 2016
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Professor Chang-Tai Hsieh, Professor John Sutton
Chair: John Page

Growth challenges in fragile states

Date: Thursday 2 June 2016
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Paul Collier and Tim Besley

Featured audio/video



Day 1: Framework session - State (Political economy - Challenging environments)

Building a functional state in difficult places

Setting the agenda for research and opportunities for impact in building functional institutions in fragile states.


  • Eliana La Ferrara (Research Programme Director, IGC State Programme, Bocconi University)
  • Mo Qayoumi (Chief Adviser to the President, Afghanistan)

Day 1: Framework session - Cities

Building effective and functioning cities: How to deal with density

Discussing how cities can become a crucial source of economic growth, and how the downsides of density can be managed.


  • Edward Glaeser (Reserach Programme Director, IGC Cities Programme, Harvard University)
  • Tony Venables (IGC Steering Group Member, University of Oxford)

Day 1: Research session - State (Political economy - Challenging environments)

State capacity: Taxation, service provision and preferences

Presenting research and discussing state capacity to raise revenues, provide public goods, and affect the preferences and attitudes of citizens.

Chair: Gerard Padró i Miquel (Research Programme Director, IGC State Programme; LSE)


  • Lucie Gadenne (University College London)
  • Leander Heldring (University of Oxford)
  • Jacob Shapiro (Princeton University)

Day 1: Research session - Cities

Urban Infrastructure: Water, sewers and transportation

Presenting some of the latest research related to cities and urban infrastructure and discussing how to handle issues arising from increased density such as slum creation, unsafe roads and contagion.

Chair: Edward Glaeser (Research Programme Director, IGC Cities Programme, Harvard University)


  • Robert Gonzalez (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)
  • Billy Jack (Georgetown University)
  • Tavneet Suri (Research Programme Director, IGC Firms Programme; MIT)

Day 1: Policy session - State (Political economy - Challenging environments)

Building a well-functioning state in challenging environments

Exploring a broad range of political economy issues around building a well-functioning state, including: policies that can build trust in the government and the political process; the importance of access to information, a free media, an active civil society and a credible legal system; reducing corruption in the public sector; structuring political institutions for consensus building across diverse groups; policies for reducing conflict; and post-conflict reconstruction.

Chair: Ian Porter (Country Director, IGC Myanmar)


  • Nasiruddin Ahmed (Anti Corruption Commission, Bangladesh)
  • Luka Biong Deng Kuol (Centre for Peace and Development Studies, Juba University, South Sudan)
  • Herbert M’cleod (Country Director, IGC Sierra Leone and Liberia)
  • H.E. U Maung Maung Soe (Mayor of Yangon, Myanmar)

Day 1: Policy session - Cities

Managing African and Asian cities: The hands on experience

Discussing key policy concerns of rapidly urbanising economies in Africa and South Asia. The key topics for discussion include service service delivery in urban centres, city finance, urban public transport, sustainable land use and infrastructure, and the labour market.

Chair: Ijaz Nabi (Country Director, IGC Pakistan; Lahore University of Management Sciences)


  • Wilfred K. Anim-Odame (Ghana Lands Commission)
  • Haider Latif (Lahore Transport Company, Pakistan)
  • Kumar V. Pratap (Ministry of Urban Development, India)
  • Masood-ul-Haq (Excise and Taxation Department, Pakistan)
  • U Toe Aung (Yangon City Development Committee, Myanmar)


Day 2: Framework session - Firms (Growth and Productivity)

What is holding firms back?

Dissecting the issue of firm growth by exploring issues such as how entrepreneuship can be stimulated, the role of management practices, and where large firms really come from.

Chair: Chris Woodruff (Research Programme Director, IGC Firms Programme; Warwick University)


  • Ali Choudhary (State Bank of Pakistan)
  • John Van Reenen (London School of Economics)
  • Renata Lemos (World Bank)

Day 2: Framework session - Energy

The role of renewables for energy access in developing countries

Discussing challenges related to scaling up renewable energy in developing countries, touching on financing, access, integration, and political economy implications.

Moderator: Henry Tricks (The Economist)


  • Ted Brandt (Marathon Capital)
  • Ronke Luke (Women Council on Energy and the Environment)
  • Alistair Wray (UK Development for International Development)

Day 2: Research session - Firms (Growth and Productivity)

Identifying high-growth entrepreneurs

Building on frontier research on firms productivity, this session will discuss recent findings on high-growth entrepreneurship to explore how more jobs can be created.

Chair: Chris Woodruff (Research Programme Director, IGC Firms Programme, Warwick University)


  • Jing Cai (University of Michigan)
  • Kevin Donovan (University of Notre Dame)
  • Ben Roth (MIT)

Day 2: Research session - Energy

Renewable electricity evaluations

Presenting and discussing the latest research on the valuation of renewable energy, and its contribution to economic growth. Topics include the effect of decentralisation and external returns on mass-scale electrification. Featuring evaluations of the demand for and benefits of electrification in India, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

Chair: Michael Greenstone (Research Programme Director, IGC Energy Programme, University of Chicago)


  • Tessa Bold (Lead Academic, IGC Uganda; Goethe University Frankfurt)
  • David Lagakos (Lead Academic, IGC Ghana; University of California)
  • Anant Sudarshan (University of Chicago)

Day 2: Policy session - Firms (Growth and Productivity)

Management matters: What can governments do?

Recent research suggests better managed firms are more productive and countries with better management practices have more productive firms. Thus, closing the management gap may be one way of closing the productivity gap between developing and developed economies. Senior policymakers from South Asia and Africa will discuss the role and limits of government in building managerial capabilities.

Chair: John Page (Country Director, IGC Tanzania; Brookings Institute)


  • Mateus Matusse (Ministry of Industry and Trade, Mozambique)
  • Claudio Frischtak (Country Director, IGC Mozambique)

Day 2: Policy session - Energy

Perspectives from IGC partner countries on electricity supply, access, efficiency, and the role of renewables

Policymakers, regulators, and energy experts from IGC partner countries sharing their perspectives on how electricity supply is being expanded, whether renewable energy shares in total supply are growing, how the problem of access to electricity is being addressed, if and how problems of efficiency and financial and environmental sustainability are being resolved, and the particular challenges posed by political resistance to policy reform.


  • Anand Rajaram (Country Director, IGC Zambia)

  • Shaibal Gupta (Country Co-Director, IGC India Bihar)


  • James Banaabe (Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda)
  • Alfred Mwila (Energy Regulation Board, Zambia)

Day 3: Framework session - State (Civil service reform)

Motivating public sector workers

Setting the agenda for policy making and research on motivation, identity, and effective decision making in public sector organisations.


  • Nava Ashraf (Lead Academic, IGC Zambia; LSE)
  • Nana Kwesi Agyekum Dwamena (Head of the Civil Service, Ghana)

Day 3: Framework session - Firms (Trade)

FDI, Exports, and the reform of government agencies

Investment promotion agencies are crucial in attracting foreign manufacturing firms and facilitating their expansion. Presenting first hand experience of reforming an investment agency and a detailed discussion of the issues and challenges around organisational change.


  • John Sutton (IGC Steering Group Member; LSE)
  • Rocco Macchiavello (Lead Academic, IGC Myanmar; University of Warwick)

Day 3: Research session - State (Civil service reform)

Improving accountability and performance for better public service delivery

Presenting the latest research on the delivery of public services.

Chair: Nava Ashraf (Lead Academic, IGC Zambia; LSE)


  • Michael Callen (Harvard University)
  • Martín Antonio Rossi (Universidad de San Andrés)
  • Adnan Khan (IGC Research and Policy Director; LSE)

Day 3: Research Session - Firms (Trade)

Firms, trade and development: Learning from IGC countries

Highlighting key research and recent findings on topics such as exports, technology, and micro-firm growth

Chair: Eric Verhoogen (Research Programme Director, IGC Firms Programme; Columbia University)


  • Jonas Hjort (Columbia University)
  • Mari Tanaka (Stanford University)
  • Girum Abebe Tefera (Ethiopian Development Research Institute)


Day 3: Policy session - State (Civil service reform)

Creating the civil service of the future

Discussing what the civil service of the future looks like, and what reforms are needed for governments to deliver more, better, and for less.

Chair: Herbert M’cleod (Country Director, IGC Sierra Leone and Liberia)


  • Peter Biar Ajak (Country Co-Director, IGC South Sudan)
  • Nana Kwesi Agyekum Dwamena (Head of the Civil Service, Ghana)
  • Katherine Casey (Stanford University)
  • Shabana Haider (Planning and Development Department, Punjab, Pakistan)
  • Arvind Kumar Chaudhary (Rural Development Department, Government of Bihar, India)

Day 3: Policy session - Firms (Trade)

Harnessing FDI for growth in Africa

Discussing the policies necessary for Africa to harness FDI to expand exports and promote increased productivity and growth.

Chair: Richard Newfarmer (Country Director, IGC Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda)


  • Samuel Jibao (Centre for Economic Research and Capacity Building, Sierra Leone)
  • H.E. Ato Newai Gebre-Ab (Chief Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister, Ethiopia)
  • Vasco Nhabinde (Ministry of Economics and Finance, Mozambique)
  • Rachel Turner (UK Department for International Development)