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Assisting the Escape from Persistent Ultra-Poverty in Rural Africa

  • Christopher Barrett ,
  • William Masters

Christopher Barrett reviews the evidence on persistent poverty with a focus on rural Africa. He emphasizes the importance of asset accumulation, productivity growth, risk management and the sociopolitical institutions that govern economic activity. Barrett's talk synthesizes lessons learned about what works, what doesn't and why, and identifies key topics in need of further investigation.

William Masters, Professor of Food Policy in the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts University, will join the conversation as a discussant following Barrett's presentation. 


Christopher Barrett is the Stephen B. & Janice G. Ashley Professor of Applied Economics and Management and International Professor of Agriculture at Cornell University. He teaches and does research primarily in poverty and international development. His research program also has strong links to international, agricultural, environmental and micro economics as well as to applied econometrics. He is a Faculty Fellow and Associate Director, Economic Development Programs, at the new Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future. The Center is a major Cornell initiative aimed at promoting cutting-edge research on sustainable development in collaboration with key external partners to achieve significant real-world impact. He is also the Director of Cornell's Food Systems and Poverty Reduction IGERT program.