First Development Lecture in honour of Angus Maddison


Inaugural Development Lecture in Honour of Angus Maddison

by Philippe Aghion

“Revisiting growth diagnostics”


29 February 2012 from 6.00 to 7.00 pm
Lecture & Q&A
OECD Headquarters, Auditorium
2, rue André-Pascal, 75016 Paris


On the occasion of the OECD Development Centre’s 50th Anniversary, the Centre will launch the Inaugural Development Lecture in honour of Angus Maddison, a renowned scholar on quantitative macroeconomic history and one of the founding fathers of the OECD Development Centre whose work has greatly influenced the development policy debate. The Lecture, entitled “Revisiting growth diagnostics” will be given by Philippe Aghion, Professor of Economics, Harvard University on 29 February 2012 from 18:00 to 19:00 in the Auditorium at the OECD Conference Centre. The presentation and discussions that follow will enrich the work of the Centre and in particular the next editions of the Development Centre’s Perspectives on Global Development.


Rapid growth of emerging economies has led to a shift in economic power and activity, a process accentuated by the recent slowdown in developed countries. Yet, the situation is contrasted across regions with certain regions like Latin America facing disappointing growth performance compared with their Asian counterparts. Beside this, in these troubled times of financial turmoil and economic instability, there is a growing concern even in fast-growing countries about the sustainability of growth and future growth prospects.


This new economic landscape raises the question of how to redefine national development strategies. If there is an increasingly common view among developing countries that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to their development challenges but rather that the solution should be country-specific, the question to policy makers then becomes: how to identify in a given country the most binding constraints to growth in order to prioritize the policies that will help overcome these constraints and unleash the country’s growth potential.


Philippe Aghion will address these issues drawing examples from developing as well as developed countries.



Philippe Aghion

Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Philippe Aghion is Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Prior to this he was Professor of Economics at University College London (UCL).  Throughout his career, Professor Aghion has also worked at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

He holds a PhD from University of Paris I and a PhD in economics from Harvard University. He is a renowed scholar in the area of growth, innovation, competition and the knowledge economy. He has authored several books, reports and papers on these topics including the seminal Endogenous Growth Theory (MIT press, 1997, with Peter Howitt), Competition and Growth (MIT Press, 2005, with Rachel Griffith), the Economics of Growth (MIT Press, 2009, with Peter Howitt).


View the presentation here



Angus Maddison and the OECD Development Centre



Over its first fifty years, the OECD Development Centre has produced a widely noted flow of high-quality policy research for development. Professor Angus Maddison has contributed to creating the world-wide reputation of the Development Centre and the OECD as being second to none.


Maddison devoted his outstanding energy and intellectual capacity to quantify and analyse long-term output growth as well as the convergence and divergence of development and social achievements over the past millenium in as many countries as possible. The self-named “Chiffrephile” - an economic historian with a strong predilection for quantification - established the statistical credibility that provides the infrastructure necessary for the evidence-based policy dialogue pursued by the Centre.


His books written for the OECD Development Centre culminated in three bestsellers:

  • Monitoring the World Economy, 1820 – 1992 (OECD, 1995)
  • Chinese Economic Performance in the Long Run (OECD, 1998)
  • The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective (2001)


Professor Maddison’s insights derived from macro-economic history have encouraged and informed a forward-looking approach that has allowed the Centre to place itself at the forefront of the study of development implications of the return of the world economy to a multipolar setting, especially in the annual Perspectives on Global Development.



Monitoring the World Economy, 1820 – 1992

Chinese Economic Performance in the Long Run

The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective

2010 Perspectives on Global Development

2012 Perspectives on Global Development


View covers of some of Angus Maddison's first publications with the Development Centre:




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