NYU Development Research Institute Conference: Urban Determinants of Success

Jeremy Coleman Jeremy Coleman

On November 18th, 2014 the NYU Development and Research Institute, in conjunction with the Marron Institute, will host its Annual Conference. This year's topic is "Cities and Development: Urban Determinants of Success." Speakers will include Edward Glaeser, Nassim Taleb, Paul Romer, Bill Easterly, Laura Freschi, and Alain Bertaud.

The success and failure of cities reveal powerful development forces which are hard to see on a national scale. Ideology, policy, risk, and the spread of people, goods and ideas operate in unique ways in urban environments. From Beirut to Lusaka to New York, city-level analyses bring new perspectives to development debates.



Rosenthal Pavilion Kimmel Center, 10th Floor

60 Washington Square South

New York, NY 10012



November 18th, 2014

8:30 am - 3:30 pm


To RSVP, go here

Alain Bertaud

Alain Bertaud

Senior Research Scholar, NYU Stern Urbanization Project


Alain Bertaud is a senior research scholar at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project. At the moment, he is writing a book about urban planning that is tentatively titled Order Without Design. Bertaud previously held the position of principal urban planner at the World Bank. After retiring from the Bank in 1999, he worked as an independent consultant. Prior to joining the World Bank he worked as a resident urban planner in a number of cities around the world: Bangkok, San Salvador (El Salvador), Port au Prince (Haiti), Sana’a (Yemen), New York, Paris, Tlemcen (Algeria), and Chandigarh (India).

Bertaud’s research, conducted in collaboration with his wife Marie-Agnès, aims to bridge the gap between operational urban planning and urban economics. Their work focuses primarily on the interaction between urban forms, real estate markets and regulations. Bertaud earned the Architecte DPLG diploma from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Laura Freschi

Managing Director and Research Scholar, NYU Development Research Institute


Laura Freschi joined New York University’s Development Research Institute (DRI) in November 2008. Her work at DRI has included co-writing the Aid Watch blog with development economist William Easterly and managing research initiatives, programs and events; she is currently at work on an economic development history of one New York City block. She has been published in major print and online publications including the New York Times, Forbes, the New York Review of Books, The Lancet, and Alliance Magazine, and cited in many others. Prior to joining DRI, Laura received her MA in international affairs with a concentration in international development and economics from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She has worked with a USAID contractor on education reform in Iraq and on international educational exchange programs with students from the Middle East. She has lived in Syria, Morocco, Italy and Bulgaria. Laura graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University with a degree in comparative literature. She is concurrently the Deputy Managing Director for the Financial Access Initiative at NYU Wagner.

Paul Romer

Director, NYU Stern Urbanization Project


Paul Romer, an economist and policy entrepreneur, is University Professor at NYU and founding director of the NYU Stern Urbanization Project, where he also leads the Charter Cities initiative. He is also the director of NYU's Marron Institute of Urban Management. Whereas the Urbanization Project focuses on rapidly urbanizing countries, the Marron Institute conducts research on the challenges faced by cities in all countries.

Before coming to NYU, Romer taught at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. While there he took an entrepreneurial detour to start Aplia, an education technology company dedicated to increasing student effort and classroom engagement. Prior to Stanford, Romer taught in the economics departments at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, and the University of Rochester. In 2002, he received the Recktenwald Prize for his work on the role of ideas in sustaining economic growth.

Romer earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago after doing graduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Queens University.

Edward Glaeser

Edward Glaeser

Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University


Ed Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard, where he also serves as Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. He studies the economics of cities, and has written scores of urban issues, including the growth of cities, segregation, crime, and housing markets. He has been particularly interested in the role that geographic proximity can play in creating knowledge and innovation. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1992 and has been at Harvard since then.

William Easterly

Professor of Economics and Co-Director, NYU Development Research Institute


William Easterly is Professor of Economics at New York University and Co-director of the NYU Development Research Institute, which won the 2009 BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge in Development Cooperation Award. He is the author of three books: The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor (March 2014), The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Harm and So Little Good (2006), which won the FA Hayek Award from the Manhattan Institute, and The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics (2001).

He has also published more than 60 peer-reviewed academic articles, and ranks among the top 100 most cited economists worldwide. He has written columns and reviews for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Review of Books, and Washington Post. He has served as Co-Editor of the Journal of Development Economics and as Director of the blog Aid Watch. He is a Research Associate of NBER, senior fellow at BREAD, and nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings. Foreign Policy Magazine named him among the Top 100 Global Public Intellectuals in 2008 and 2009. He is also the 11th most famous native of Bowling Green, Ohio.

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