Tenth Luca d’Agliano Lecture in Development Economics

Tenth Luca d’Agliano Lecture in Development Economics: “State Effectiveness and Economic Development” by Timothy Besley (School Professor of Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science), 22 November 2012, 6 p.m., Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, Palazzo d’Azeglio, Via Principe Amedeo 34, 10123 Turin.

This lecture will explore determinants of state effectiveness and its role in supporting economic development in three main dimensions: collective, productive and revenue raising. The collective refers to ability of the state to deliver core public goods and services to its citizens. The productive refers to building infrastructure and creating a market supporting environment. Revenue raising refers to building a tax system that allows the state to fulfil its spending ambitions. The lecture will argue that there are common determinants to these core dimensions of state effectiveness and that they complement each other; supporting one dimension tends to create incentives to improve others. State effectiveness through history has been enhanced by investing in state capacities with long-range benefits. Understanding why effective states are not universal requires an analysis of the political and institutional forces which shape government incentives.

Timothy Besley is School Professor of Economics and Political Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is also a Visiting Professor at the Institute for International Economic Studies at Stockholm University. From September 2006 to August 2009, he served as an external member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee. He is also the Gluskin-Granovsky Fellow in the Institutions, Organizations and Growth Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). Professor Besley was educated at Aylesbury Grammar School and Oxford University where he became a prize fellow of All Souls College. He taught subsequently at Princeton before being appointed Professor in the economics department at the LSE in 1995. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the British Academy, and the European Economic Association. He is also a foreign honorary member of the American Economic Association and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2010 he served as the President of the European Economic Association. Professor Besley is a past co-editor of the American Economic Review, and a 2005 winner of the Yrjö Jahnsson Award of the European Economics Association which is granted every other year to an economist aged under 45 who has made a significant contribution to economics in Europe. His research, which mostly has a policy focus, is mainly in the areas of Development Economics, Public Economics and Political Economy.

Text of the Lecture