word cloud with logoWe are a student organization at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

In GROWTH, we believe that private agents in the market drive value creation and economic growth. We seek to raise awareness of the importance of public policies for wealth creation, private sector development, productivity and competitiveness. We also study ways to make public policy better support these outcomes.

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More about us and our team.


Speaker Series – Liz Jellema, Director of Research of World Business Chicago

imagesLiz Jellema, Director of Research of World Business Chicago (WBC) visited The Harris School of Public Policy yesterday (Tuesday, October 27th).

Liz talked about her career and current role at WBC, the city’s economic strengths, and what’s ahead in terms of economic development from WBC’s perspective.

She also addressed the opportunity for a summer internship at WBC.

Find her presentation here.

Student Speaker Series (#1) – IADB’s Rethinking Productive Development (2014)

Today we had the first event of GROWTH at UChicago, with the Student Speaker Series.

Our first Student Speaker was Santiago Matallana, 2nd year MPP student, and a Colombian Economist. Santiago presented the latest flagship publication of the Inter-American Development Bank: Rethinking Productive Development.

See the presentation here.

Angus Deaton wins Nobel prize in economics | Business | The Guardian

Angus Deaton is the 2015 winner of the Nobel prize in economics. The Scottish-born economist is best known for his work on health, wellbeing, and economic development.

Source: Angus Deaton wins Nobel prize in economics | Business | The Guardian

Economists vs. Economics by Dani Rodrik – Project Syndicate

“(…) understanding requires simplification. The best way to respond to the complexity of social life is not to devise ever-more elaborate models, but to learn how different causal mechanisms work, one at a time, and then figure out which ones are most relevant in a particular setting.
Let us cherish economics in all its diversity – rational and behavioral, Keynesian and Classical, first-best and second-best, orthodox and heterodox – and devote our energy to becoming wiser at picking which framework to apply when.”

Source: Economists vs. Economics by Dani Rodrik – Project Syndicate

Patent trolls

Santiago Matallana

Innovation is a key driver of economic growth and progress, but the incentives to innovate are just not always there. Occasionally, there are high invention costs and no barriers for other players in the market to copy such creations. When that is the case, otherwise successful inventors might not only see how the extraordinary rewards of innovation vanish; they can lose money.

To prevent competitors from benefiting from an invention while avoiding its costs, patent law offers exclusive ownership rights to the inventor for a given period. This solves the problem of potential free-rider competitors, hence providing ex ante incentives for investment in innovation.

The solution is far from perfect. Ownership rights not only provide incentives to innovate. They also induce the rent-seeking behavior displayed by the so called “patent trolls”. These are companies that own patents, do not actually produce goods or services related to them, but do enforce…

View original post 430 more words

Why did the Chinese become less happy during their growth boom?

June 16, 2015

In China, GDP per capita and household consumption increased fourfold between the years 1990 and 2005, and life expectancy climbed to 75.3 years from 67 years in 1980. Carol Graham in her post on Brookings Institutions explores why life satisfaction levels plummeted during the same period.

 Read the complete post here.

Latin America should find a new formula for growth

June 27, 2015

For much of this century Latin America saw robust economic growth, a big fall in poverty and a swelling of the middle classes. Now the good times are over. The IMF expects growth of just 0.9% in 2015, which would be the fifth successive year of deceleration in the region. The Economist suggest that Latin America should find a new formula for growth after the commodity boom triggered by the industrialization of China.  For more information see two posts:

–  “Latin America. The loss of El Dorado”   Read More

– “Latin America’s economies. The lessons of stagnation”  Read More