On December 14-15th, 2017 SITE hosted its annual academic conference together with Association of Swedish Development Economists (ASWEDE).
International scholars were brought together to discuss and showcase what current research tells us about the effectiveness and efficiency of public sectors in transition and development countries, and how they can be improved.
The conference featured two keynote speakers - Oriana Bandiera, Sir Anthony Atkinson Professor of Economics and Director of STICERD, LSE, and James Robinson, The Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict and University Professor at the University of Chicago. During the conference, eleven research papers were presented and one panel discussion was held. Some of the areas that the conference focused on were public procurement and public-private partnerships, the competence, organization and management of public employees, and e-government broadly defined.
Day one of the conference began with paper presentations by Tessa Bold, Assistant Professor at Stockholm University, Adnan Q. Khan, Research and Policy Director at London School of Economics, Guo Xu, Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Diana Moreira, Assistant Professor at the University of California, Davis. Speakers discussed topics on effects of using incentives in public service, the effects of political turnover on the quality of public services and the relationship between teacher knowledge and student achievement.
Keynote speaker, Oriana Bandiera, Sir Anthony Atkinson Professor of Economics and Director of STICERD, LSE, presented her research on career incentives in Zambia which shows that career incentives attract health workers who work more effectively and that there is no trade-off between talent and prosociality.
The day ended with a panel discussion that contributed with practical experiences from transition and developing countries that addressed how research can be made into active policy decisions and gave insights about some of the challenges when it comes to implementing new reforms.
Day two of the conference featured paper presentations by Clément Imbert, Assistant Professor at the University of Warwick, Guy Grossman, Assistant Professor at the political science department at the University of Pennsylvania, Prabhat Barnwal, Assistant Professor at the Columbia University, Michael Best, Assistant Professor at the Columbia University, Vitalijs Jascisens, PhD candidate in economics at the Toulouse School of Economics, and Menno Pradhan, Professor at the University of Amsterdam. Some of the topics discussed were the impacts of unconditional increases of teacher salaries on student achievements, how mobile technology can be used to improve public service delivery, why same public policies generate different results in low and high-income countries and other topics.
In the afternoon, keynote speaker, James Robinson, The Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict and University Professor at the University of Chicago, presented his work on weak, despotic and inclusive states.