70 years of international development


This past Tuesday, along with my colleague Mark, I gave a presentation to YPFP‘s International Development Discussion Group. We briefly shot through some 7 decades of international development (tilted heavily towards the Western view of history, I must admit). We roughly categorized 4 periods, followed by a brief discussion of new alternative approaches:

  1. Bretton Woods (post WWII through late 60s)– The international community would attempt to bring down national barriers and invest in rebuilding Europe through funding infrastructure and institutions, such that economic growth would take root and lift people out of poverty. Keynesians dominated the dialogue, showing that governments themselves could drive markets in important and desirable ways, as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (formed at Bretton Woods and precursor to the World Bank) lent money to countries like France and Germany to the tune of 2+% of GDP.
  2. Bottom up approaches (mid-60s-80s)– When it became clear that the…

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