Talk topics

Ted has lectured on a wide variety of topics related to his research, including the relationship between climate and violence, patterns of African economic and political development, the need for greater transparency in social science research, electrification and development, and links between health, education and productivity for the poor. He has also given public lectures on his books, Economic Gangsters and Africa's Turn? Most talks listed below are public lectures, often with slides, audio and video recordings. For a more complete list of talks (including academic seminars and conferences), refer to his CV.


Prospects for Rural Electrification in Africa
LocationLisbon, Portugal
DateJuly 14, 2016

As one of the keynote speakers for the 2016 NOVAFRICA Conference for Economic Development in Africa, Ted spoke about the latest research on rural electrification in Africa. The talk included a discussion of the lack of research knowledge on energy as it relates to development, as well as recent findings on the impacts of electrification. Ted referenced recent publications, including "Experimental Evidence on the Demand for and Costs of Rural Electrification" and "Appliance Ownership and Aspirations among Electric Grid and Home Solar Households in Rural Kenya."

Can War Foster Cooperation?
LocationNairobi, Kenya
DateJuly 12, 2016

Ted spoke as one of two keynote speakers at the SEEDEC 2016 conference hosted by the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics at the Strathmore Business School in Nairobi, Kenya.The presentation was based on his paper in the Journal of Economics Perspectives (joint with Michal Bauer, Chris Blattman, Julie Chytilova, Joe Henrich, and Tamar Mitts) that combines evidence on war's impacts over the last decade from 16 studies across over 40 countries. Ted discussed the main findings, that individual exposure to war violence tends to increase social cooperation at the local level, including community participation and prosocial behavior, and that while war has many negative legacies for individuals and societies, it appears to leave a positive legacy in terms of local cooperation and civic engagement.



Transparency and Reproducibility in Economics Research
LocationStanford University
DateMay 16, 2016

Ted was invited to give a talk at the METRICS Forum at Stanford University. The presentation covered recent progress towards research transparency in the social sciences, made the case for standards and practices that help realign scholarly incentives with scholarly values, and specifically discussed prospects for pre-specifying research hypotheses in prospective observational studies.

Prospects for Rural Electrification in Africa
LocationGeorge Washington University
DateApril 28, 2016

At George Washington University's Economics and Political Economy of Africa Conference hosted by the Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP), Ted discussed the prospects for rural electrification in Africa. The talk touched on various issues surrounding rural electrification and its impacts, including a discussion of the gap between public spending and research knowledge. Ted referenced recent publications, including "Experimental Evidence on the Demand for and Costs of Rural Electrification" and "Appliance Ownership and Aspirations among Electric Grid and Home Solar Households in Rural Kenya."

Transparency and Reproducibility in Economics Research
LocationBerkeley, California
DateApril 22, 2016

There is growing interest in research transparency and reproducibility in economics and other scientific fields. We survey existing work on these topics within economics and discuss the evidence suggesting that publication bias, inability to replicate, and specification searching remain widespread problems in the discipline. We next discuss recent progress in this area, including improved research design, study registration and pre-analysis plans, disclosure standards, and open sharing of data and materials, and draw on experiences in both economics and other social sciences. We discuss areas where consensus is emerging on new practices as well as approaches that remain controversial and speculate about the most effective ways to make economics research more accurate, credible, and reproducible in the future.

Thought Lounge Against Poverty
LocationUC Berkeley
DateJanuary 7, 2016

In an interview with Thought Lounge Against Poverty (TLAP), Ted discusses climate change in the context of global poverty and inequality, referencing his recent research on the impact of rising temperatures on economic production. TLAP is a Thought Lounge initiative featuring experts in the field of international development in a dialogue around the question “How do we end poverty?”.

Conflict, Climate + Development in Africa
LocationZurich, Switzerland
DateNovember 16, 2015

At the 2015 UBS Center Forum for Economic Dialogue in Zurich, Ted spoke on the topic of Conflict, Climate and Development in Africa. He spoke on his recent research with co-authors Solomon Hsiang and Marshall Burke on the links between extreme climate and violent conflict (which appeared in Science in 2013 here) and their article on the non-linear realtionship between temperature and economic productivity (Nature 2015 here). He discussed implications for public policy responses and climate change, and the prospects for future African economic development. (Ted starts speaking at minute 31:00.)

World Bank Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) Lecture
LocationWashington, DC USA
DateSeptember 15, 2015

We show that overall economic productivity is nonlinear in temperature for all countries, with productivity peaking at an annual average temperature of 13 C and declining strongly at higher temperatures. The relationship is globally generalizable, unchanged since 1960, and apparent for agricultural and non-agricultural activity in both rich and poor countries, with important implications. If future adaptation mimics past adaptation, unmitigated warming is expected to reshape the global economy by reducing average global incomes roughly 23% by 2100 and widening global income inequality, relative to scenarios without climate change. (Co-authors Marshall Burke and Solomon Hsiang)

Berkeley Institute for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) Summer Institute 2015
LocationUC Berkeley
DateJune 10, 2015

At the BITSS Summer Institute, "Transparency and Reproducibility Methods for Social Science Research", Ted presented on the methods and best practices for reproducible research and next steps in achieving greater transparency throughout Social Science research.

Annual Bank Conference on Africa (ABCA) 2015
LocationUC Berkeley
DateJune 8, 2015

Ted was invited to present the keynote talk at the World Bank's Annual Bank Conference on Africa, "Confronting Conflict and Fragility in Africa" on June 8th, 2015. The two-day meeting covered various topics pertinent to the causes, solutions, and understanding of conflict and fragility in sub-Saharan Africa.