The Development Bargain: why elites gamble on growth

Hosted by the International Growth Centre (IGC)

Online and in-person public event (LSE campus, venue TBC)


Elsie Addo Awadzi

Elsie Addo Awadzi

Second Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana

Stefan Dercon

Stefan Dercon

Professor of Economic Policy, University of Oxford

Mona Quartey

Mona Quartey

Former Deputy Minister of Finance, Ghana


Jonathan Leape

Jonathan Leape

Executive Director, IGC & Associate Professor of Economics, LSE

In the last 30 years, the developing world has undergone tremendous changes. Overall, poverty has fallen, people live longer and healthier lives, and economies have been transformed. Why have some countries prospered, while others have failed?

Stefan Dercon argues that the answer lies in a key ‘development bargain’, whereby a country’s elites shift from protecting their own positions to gambling on a growth-based future. Despite the imperfections of such bargains, China is among the most striking recent success stories, along with Indonesia and more unlikely places, such as Bangladesh, Ghana, and Ethiopia.

This event discusses lessons learned from Ghana and Bangladesh to understand why and how elites decide to engage with economic growth.

This event is part of the Sir Arthur Lewis programme.

Meet our speakers and chair

Elsie Addo Awadzi has over 26 years of professional experience working in various capacities in Ghana and internationally in law, finance, policy and regulatory reforms, financial sector regulation, sustainable development, and public financial management, among others. She is the Second Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana, a position she has occupied since February 2018. She is the second woman to occupy the Office of Deputy Governor in the Bank of Ghana’s 65-year history. She currently has oversight of the Bank of Ghana’s banking supervision, market conduct, and financial stability functions, among others. She is a member of the Bank’s Board of Directors, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, and a member of Ghana’s Financial Stability Council which has representation from financial regulatory authorities in Ghana and the Finance Ministry.

Stefan Dercon is Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Economics Department, and a Fellow of Jesus College, at the University of Oxford. He is also Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. Between 2011 and 2017, he was Chief Economist of the Department of International Development (DFID), the government department in charge with the UK’s aid policy and spending. In this position, he provided strategic advice, and was responsible for ensuring the use of evidence in decision making.

Mona Quartey, who holds a Bsc. (Hons) degree in Development Planning from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and a Masters in Business Administration (Finance) from Dalhousie University, Canada, is a seasoned finance professional with extensive experience in Treasury, Risk Management and Corporate Finance with close to 25 years of Banking and Mining experience.

Jonathan Leape is an Associate Professor of Economics at LSE. He was the founding director of the Centre for Research into Economics and Finance in Southern Africa, which was established at LSE in 1990 as an initiative of the Commonwealth Heads of Government to support the democratic transition in South Africa. He has advised a number of African governments, with a focus on tax and regulatory issues, and he served as Chief Academic Advisor on Taxation to the UK Government Economic Service. He was also director of the highly innovative “LSE100 The LSE Course: Understanding the Causes of Things” from 2009-13. His research interests centre on public economics, with a particular focus on taxation and regulation, including congestion charging. He has a PhD in Economics from Harvard University, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow, and degrees from Oxford University and Harvard University.

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