DSAI Education Study Group welcomes Guest Lecture from Professor Howard Stein, University of Michigan from the Principal’s Library, St Mary’s University College, Belfast.
Howard Stein is a Professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) and the Dept. of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan. He is a development economist educated in Canada, the US and the UK. He has also published more than a dozen books and edited collections and more than 100 journal articles, book chapters and reviews.
The trajectory of development in sub-Saharan Africa remains puzzling to mainstream economists. Poverty stays stubbornly high, growth has been uneven, and life expectancy has continued to lag relative to other regions, despite governments adopting policies inspired by neoclassical economics. Economists have used a host of extraneous explanations for what some have called “Africa’s tragedy,” including ethnicity, geography, colonial history, the legacy of the slave trade, poor governance, poorly developed social capital, and other things.
This talk provides a critical review of the mainstream understanding of inequality in Africa and illustrates how policies arising from standard economics have exacerbated conditions. It will argue that the effort to understand income inequality needs to transcend neoclassical economics to focus on the evolution of the institutions, related economic structures, and the way Africa has been integrated into the global economy, all of which determine current and historical patterns. It will discuss the institutional approach to income distribution and explore the patterns we have observed in sub-Saharan Africa through this lens.
About the Speaker - Howard Stein is a Professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) and the Dept. of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan. He is a development economist educated in Canada, the US and the UK. He has also published more than a dozen books and edited collections and more than 100 journal articles, book chapters and reviews. He has held various academic appointments at the University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania: Hitotsubashi University, Japan, Sussex University; UK, University of Lisbon, Portugal; and University of Leiden, Netherlands. He has undertaken research in a variety of African countries on foreign aid, finance and banking, neoliberalism, the methodology of Randomized Controlled Trials, health and gender, climate change, industrial policy, export processing zones, agricultural policy, African overpayment on sovereign bond issues, poverty and rural property right transformation, income inequality, Chinese economic relations and the institutionalization of neoclassical economics.