Comparative Economic Development Studies - Shanghai Workshop

Within the DAAD-sponsored program “Comparative Economic Development Studies”, the East China Normal University (ECNU), HTW Berlin – University of Applied Sciences and Freie Universität Berlin are organizing a five-day workshop from November 14th to 18th, 2016, in Shanghai

This program creates an international network for graduate and postgraduate work on “Comparative Economic Development Studies” among participating universities in emerging markets. Its aim is to provide a common framework for learning from best practices in graduate and post-graduate teaching, provide graduate students with exposure to other countries’ methods for teaching economics (both with a North-South and a South-South dimension), and help students and junior and senior researchers develop a perspective within “comparative economic development studies”.

The second of the annual research workshops will be held at East China Normal University, Shanghai, on the issue of crisis, inequality and development. The workshops consist of three pillars: (i) presentation and discussion of PhD and MA thesis projects; (ii) lectures for participating PhD students and advanced master’s students in research methodology; and (iii) thematic presentations on a narrow aspect of the wider project area.

Thematic workshop “Crisis, Inequality and Development”

The workshop will tie into the recent debate on the interaction of development, growing inequality and economic crisis. Over the past years, both among policy makers and academics, the question of growing inequality has gained more importance. Increasingly, it has been acknowledged that fast GDP growth alone is not enough to increase welfare of the population and that achieving an inclusive society with limited inequality is a necessary condition to turn economic growth into substantive improvements of the well-being of the people. At the same time, new research both by the IMF and the OECD has hinted that inequality might actually hinder economic growth, turning potentially redistributive policies into tools which might have a “double dividend”, lowering inequality and at the same time stabilizing or even increasing economic growth. Yet, not all redistributive policies are equally useful. The wrong combination might well lead to macroeconomic imbalances, as might leaving the income distribution to market forces. This discussion is important for countries which are now confronted with slowing economic growth after decades of a booming economy and growing inequality such as China, as well as countries which have put a strong emphasis on reducing inequality over the past decade and now seem to have come to an end of these policies, such as Brazil.

The workshop seeks to bring to light this debate and to discuss the interdependence of different policies. These cover a broad range from industrial, social and macroeconomic policies and include the relevance of institutional specificities. In the workshop, we aim at linking the debates in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe on this topic and provide a comparative perspective.