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Improving productivity in developing countries


  • Goodenough College Mecklenburgh Square London, WC1N 2AD United Kingdom (map)
c. Simon Davis/DFID

c. Simon Davis/DFID

With individuals and communities getting trapped in low productivity activities, failing to realise their potential, and failing to enjoy economic growth and prosperity, the consequences can be severe. It is crucial for the design of policies aimed at improving productivity to establish the main causes for these failures.

The Centre for the Evaluation of Development Policy, at the Institute for Fiscal Studies held a conference focused on the improvement of productivity in developing countries and identifying barriers in the adoption of new technologies.

The conference focused on four key areas of imperfections:

  • Constraints on informational resources available to individuals:
  • Market failures, possibly originating from asymmetric information or the lack of appropriate institutions:
  • Constraints on operational resources:
  • Constraints relating to social norms:

The conference relates to the ongoing work under the Improving productivity in developing countries project supported by DEGRP. The research aims to identify imperfections and frictions that prevent the adoption of profitable technology and innovations or, more generally, that may impede investment opportunities with a potentially high rate of return. 

For more information on programme and speakers visit the IFS website.