Perspectives on global development

Second Maddison Lecture: François Bourguignon


Second Development Lecture in Honour of Angus Maddison


by François Bourguignon


“Tackling inequalities: at the heart of the post-2015 agenda?”
Presentation PDF


3 April 2013 from 6.30 to 8.00 pm

Lecture followed by Q&A

Speech Secretary General OECD


François Bourguignon, Director of the Paris School of Economics and former Chief Economist of the World Bank, will discuss “Tackling inequality: at the heart of the post-2015 agenda?”. The Secretary-General of the OECD will be present to make the opening remarks. With his original work on inequality and income distribution based notably on Angus Maddison’s historical series, Professor Bourguignon has greatly contributed to the debate on inequality.


Rapid growth in emerging economies over the past two decades has led to a shift in economic power and activity, a process only accentuated by the recent slowdown in developed countries. While this process has been associated with a significant reduction in inequality between countries, the picture looks more contrasted and less optimistic with regard to within-country inequality as illustrated by François Bourguignon in his most recent publication “the Globalisation of Inequality”.


On the other hand, the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) have shown progress in particular with regard to the reduction of absolute poverty rates. As they are currently defined it seems though that MDGs provides only a partial picture of development challenges in the future since it fails to capture dimensions related to inequality. What does it mean for the definition of the post-2015 agenda? Should tackling inequality be at the heart of the post-2015 agenda?


In the Second Annual Lecture on Development in Honour of Angus Maddison, François Bourguignon will present evidence and underlying factors on the evolution of inequality over recent years, and provide insights on the implications for the post-2015 agenda, as well as for the definition and sequencing of policy responses.



The Lecture Series on Development in honour of Angus Maddison was launched in 2012, on the occasion of the OECD Development Centre’s 50th Anniversary. It aims to commemorate 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.


Biography of François Bourguignon

Back to France in 2007 following four years as the Chief Economist and first Vice President of the World Bank in Washington DC, François Bourguignon has returned to his former position of Professor of Economics at the EHESS (advanced school in Social Sciences). In parallel, François Bourguignon was also the Director of Paris School of Economics between 2007 and January 2013. His work both theoretical and empirical and principally aims at the distribution and the redistribution of revenue in developing and developed countries.

Angus Maddison and the OECD Development Centre


Professor Angus Maddison has contributed to creating the world-wide reputation of the Development Centre and the OECD as being second to none. Between 1953 and 1978, he complemented his distinguished academic career with several long stays at the OECD and its predecessor, the OEEC. He is remembered as one of the most brilliant members of the OECD family and one of the founding fathers of the OECD Development Centre.  

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. His seminal study ‘The World Economy – A Millenial Perspective’ remains a towering contribution to economic history and dedicated data collection. The work of this enthusiastic “Chiffrephile” - an economic historian with a strong predilection for quantification - continues to inform and influence academic research as well as our work at the Development 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:


Maddison covers

View more documents from OECD Development Centre, Paris.



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