The Disciplines Series: The Idea of Development


Wednesday, October 1, 2014  6:15pm The Schapiro Center, Davis Auditorium


Heyman Center for the Humanities

Columbia University Press

It has long been recognized that an improved standard of living results from advances in technology, not from the accumulation of capital. It has also become clear that what truly separates developed from less-developed countries is not just a gap in resources or output but a gap in knowledge. In fact, the pace at which developing countries grow is largely a function of the pace at which they close that gap.

Thus, to understand how countries grow and develop, it is essential to know how they learn and become more productive and what government can do to promote learning. In Creating a Learning Society, Joseph E. Stiglitz and Bruce C. Greenwald cast light on the significance of this insight for economic theory and policy. Taking as a starting point Kenneth J. Arrow’s 1962 paper “Learning by Doing,” they explain why the production of knowledge differs from that of other goods and why market economies alone typically do not produce and transmit knowledge efficiently. Closing knowledge gaps and helping laggards learn are central to growth and development. But creating a learning society is equally crucial if we are to sustain improved living standards in advanced countries.

Note: Due to the large crowd expected at this event, please arrive early. The event space holds 180 people. We cannot exceed the room capacity for safety reasons and cannot let in any attendees over 180. Thank you for your understanding.



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