Why do prosperous economies develop in some countries and regions, while others stagnate? The Working Group on the Foundations of Long-Run Prosperity applies approaches from a range of disciplines to understand the mechanics of long-run growth. It disseminates the results to the research community, policy makers, and the broader public.

Understanding how and why economies prosper, stagnate, or wither is a question of first-order importance, but our knowledge about the process of economic growth is surprisingly thin. Indeed, if growth was well understood as a scholarly matter, policies based on theory and empirics would have produced convergence in levels of economic development across countries, rather than divergence. The Working Group on the Foundations of Long-Run Prosperity aims to produce socially useful research that meets the standards of peer review by leveraging recent advances in several fields of scholarship, including the analysis of complex adaptive systems, machine learning, spatial econometrics using GIS and remote sensing data, comparative political economy, and the economics of innovation.

The working group builds and sustains an interdisciplinary network of researchers from a range of disciplines, including Biology, Classics, Computer Science, Economics, Finance, History, Political Science, and Statistics. These scholars convene at a series of bi-annual, invitation-only conferences, along with business practitioners and policy makers from around the world. They present research-in-progress and engage in constructive and open debate about its logical consistency, logical completeness, treatment of evidence, and policy implications.

Research produced by the network of scholars is disseminated by the Foundations of Long-Run Prosperity Working Paper Series. An accompanying research briefing series provides analysis and examines the policy implications of the research for a non-academic audience. The working group also hosts public panel discussions, fireside chats, and conferences designed to engage policy makers from the U.S. and other countries.

To learn more, reading the working group white paper and sign up for our newsletter. The organizers can be reached at here.


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Stephen Haber

Stephen Haber

Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow

Stephen Haber is the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. In addition, he is a professor of political science, professor of history, and professor of economics (by courtesy), as well as a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

Amit Seru

Amit Seru

Senior Fellow

Amit Seru is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, the Steven and Roberta Denning Professor of Finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a senior fellow at Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He was formerly a faculty member at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

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