PEGNet Conference 2015

Transformation of Developing and Emerging Economies: Challenges and Opportunities for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth

08 - 09 Sep 2015

As PEGNet celebrates its tenth anniversary conference this October, the international development community will find itself at an important milestone, namely the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September. They will constitute the guidelines of the Post-2015 Agenda on Sustainable Development and replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that are due to expire at the end of 2015. Recent development discourse has called for stronger interlinkages between social, environmental and economic approaches to ensure that growth is sustainable and inclusive. While the MDGs have placed a strong priority on the social dimension of sustainable development, the SDGs have taken also the economic and the environmental dimension into account, resulting in a proposed comprehensive framework of 17 goals and 169 targets that addresses all three dimensions of sustainability. In Germany, the Charter for the Future has been elaborated at the initiative of the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. It constitutes a special contribution to the further development of the Post-2015 Agenda. In the economic field, it calls for combining economic growth with sustainability and decent work and fostering transformative change

A new quality of growth is needed to preserve the natural capital basis while reducing poverty and promoting social equity. Such growth will look very different to our business-as-usual. What is required to achieve the SDGs and the premise of sustainable development is no less than a structural and system-wide transformation of our current modes of production and consumption. Finding the patterns required to achieve the necessary economic transformation is one of the most important challenges of this century. Promising growth strategies will play out differently in varying country contexts. For developing and emerging economies in particular, achieving sustained economic growth to reduce poverty and raise living standards is central. At the same time, many low- and middle-income countries depend heavily on natural resources. Furthermore, they are increasingly concerned by global ecological developments, in particular climate change. Thus, a paradigm shift to inclusive and “green” (i.e. environmentally sustainable) growth is of paramount importance. In this context, empirical evidence on the effectiveness of alternative growth strategies is urgently needed.

PEGNet will use the occasion of its tenth anniversary to discuss the design of the necessary transformation and structural changes of developing and emerging economies towards inclusive and sustainable growth within the context of the Post-2015 Agenda. The plenary sessions will focus particularly on the economic dimension of sustainability and the structural transformation that is needed to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all (SDG 8), to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation (SDG 9), to reduce inequality within and among countries (SDG 10), and to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDG 12). The conference will also highlight the possible synergies and trade-offs between the different dimensions of sustainable development and look into the policies and instruments to manage them. The scientific parallel sessions are open for all topics within PEGNet’s general interest in poverty reduction, equity and growth.

The conference provided a platform for high-level dialogue and exchange of ideas between development researchers, practitioners and policy-makers. The two conference days featured parallel sessions based on invited and contributed papers as well as project presentations. The parallel sessions were complemented by

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 was co-organised by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and supported the KfW Development Bank, and the Courant Poverty Research Centre at the University of Göttingen.