PEGNet Conference 2013

How to Shape Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Economies in the Developing World ─ Global, Regional, and Local Solutions

17 - 18 Oct 2013

Conference theme

Economic growth has come largely at the expense of natural resource depletion and environmental degradation, and has not yet provided the basis for substantial reductions in economic and social inequality, which is why the concept of green growth aims to find ways to make growth compatible with environmental sustainability without neglecting the social dimension. What is needed for this to happen is institutional reform and good policies, which aim to get prices right and fix markets, address coordination failures and knowledge externalities, and assign property rights and prices to environmental services.
Inclusive green growth policies are difficult to design and, even in best case scenarios, no panacea for overcoming developing economies' structural shortcomings that have been excluding the poor from the benefits of growth. This raises several questions:
How to tailor inclusive green growth strategies to a country's specific circumstances, with an emphasis on maximizing local and immediate benefits for the poor?
How to implement policy changes and strategies in scenarios where groups that do not benefit from the adjustments make decided efforts to block reforms?

The conference will address cross-sectoral issues and aspects related to sustainable management of sectors like agriculture, industry, energy and transport; as well as the adoption of sustainable life styles reducing individual ecological footprints, equity concerns, and strategies for poverty eradication.
In particular, but not exclusively, we invite contributions (papers and projects) that provide answers to the following questions:

  • What lessons can be learned from existing poverty reduction strategies about the scope for making social, economic and environmental objectives mutually reinforcing?

  • What mix of regulatory, marked-based and informative instruments is needed to facilitate the transition towards green growth which is pro-poor and inclusive?

  • Are there models of agriculture, which can sustainably meet increased demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber while respecting resource scarcities and the integrity of vital ecosystems?

  • What are the technological and financing needs for a green economy transition in agriculture, one that includes and benefits smallholder farmers, agricultural laborers and food security?

  • How can the international development community contribute to this?

  • How to shape consumer behavior towards green societies in developing and emerging regions?

  • How can business and policymakers work together to create a green and inclusive economy, and upscale green and inclusive employment and business models?

  • How can green and inclusive growth be modeled?

In addition, the PEGNet Best Practice Award will be awarded for the fifth time to best practice in cooperation between researchers and practitioners. While plenary sessions focus on the conference theme, parallel sessions and Best Practice Award projects will be to all topics surrounding PEGNet's core theme, i.e. the nexus between poverty, equity and growth.

Conference Format

The conference will provide a platform for high-level dialogue and exchange of ideas between development researchers, practitioners and policy-makers. The two conference days will feature parallel sessions based on invited and contributed papers as well as project presentations. The parallel sessions will be complemented by a debate, a round-table discussion, and keynote speeches by renowned speakers from academia, economic policy and development practice. In addition, the PEGNet Best Practice Award will be awarded for the fifth time to best practices in cooperation between researchers and practitioners.

Keynote Speeches

We are happy to announce that Margaret McMillan and Oeindrila Dube were this year's keynote speakers.

Margaret McMillan is an associate professor of economics at Tufts University and a Research Associate in the NBER's program on International Trade and Investment. In 2009, she was appointed the Director of the Development Strategies and Governance Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute. McMillan holds a Ph.D. in economics (with distinction) from Columbia University an MPA from Princeton University and B.A. in mathematics and economics (summa cum laude) from Boston University. Her research interests lie in the areas of international trade, investment and development. McMillan is the recipient of numerous awards for her research.

Oeindrila Dube is an assistant professor of politics and economics at New York University. She is also an affiliate at the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). Her broad research interest lies in the political economy of conflict and development.


The conference is co-organised by the Department of Economics at the University of Copenhagen, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and supported by the KfW Development Bank, and the Courant Poverty Research Centre at the University of Göttingen.