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.

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Annual Bank Conference on Africa (ABCA) 2017
LocationUC Berkeley
DateJune 2, 2017

Ted was invited to present the keynote talk at the World Bank's Annual Bank Conference on Africa, "The Challenges and Opportunities of Transforming African Agriculture" on June 2nd, 2017. The two-day meeting covered various topics pertaining agricultural productivity and nutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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.

Evidence to Action (E2A) 2015
LocationGoogle
DateMay 4, 2015

At CEGA's annual Evidence to Action (E2A) event, Ted presented on a large and influential Chlorine Dispensers project to highlight the advances in Development Engineering.

Berkeley Institute for Transparency in the Social Sciences - Research Transparency Forum
LocationDavid Brower Center, Berkeley, CA
DateDecember 11, 2014

The movement towards more transparency, reproducibility, and openness has gained a lot momentum in the social sciences. Yet, the norms and institutions that govern academic research do not reflect this culture shift. Significant problems remain, including professional incentives that reward striking and statistically significant research findings at the expense of scientific integrity.

Increasing the reliability and accuracy of scientific evidence requires well-defined standards of methodological rigor. At the same time, new tools and strategies to increase transparency must be integrated into existing research workflows to facilitate adoption. As the social sciences reinvent their practices around data, it is absolutely the right moment to build new channels of collaboration, cross-learning, and dissemination for innovative, open research practices.

The two-day conference brought together academic leaders, scholarly publishers, and policy-makers to discuss recent innovations in journal practices, academic training, data sharing, and evidence-based policy in light of the push for increased transparency.

The event was organized by BITSS in partnership with the Center for Effective Global Action, the Center for Open ScienceD-Lab, The Berkeley Institute for Data Science, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium (IATRC): The Economics of Civil War
LocationSan Diego, CA
DateDecember 7, 2014

In December 2014, Ted spoke at IATRC's Annual Meeting themed "Food and Resources: Conflict and Trade" on the links between global climate change and its implications on conflict and poverty.

Fifth Annual Symposium on Computing for Development (ACM-DEV) 2014
LocationSan Jose, CA
DateDecember 5, 2014

Technology plays a central role in economic transformation. Yet relatively few teams of economists and engineers work together to maximize technology's impact on international development. In his address, Berkeley Professor Edward Miguel describes the experimental methodologies that today's economists employ in their work, and cases where their research findings have contributed to large-scale policy change. Looking forward, he argues that deeper engagement between economists, data scientists and engineers can accelerate a new wave of policy innovation and improve understanding of what really "works" in development, providing a valuable global public good. 

Masters in Development Practice (MDP) Chat
LocationEvans Hall, U.C. Berkeley
DateNovember 21, 2014

Second year Berkeley Master of Development Practice student, Kennedy Mugo from Nairobi, Kenya, sits down with Ted Miguel in his Berkeley office to discuss Africa's economic future - and how to stay young.

Master of Development Practice (MDP) Special Lecture Series
LocationUC Berkeley
DateNovember 13, 2014

Ted was invited to speak at UC Berkeley's Master of Development Practice (MDP) Special Lecture Series on the trajectory of Africa's development through the lens of his career as an economist, providing insight on the future of African development based on his research findings and those of his colleagues.

Bay Area Global Health Seminar Series
LocationUC Berkeley
DateNovember 12, 2014

By 2015, it is projected that we will be sharing the planet with 7.3 billion people. While the human population swells -- especially in parts of the world where there is more poverty, disease, famine, and political instability -- we must continue finding innovative ways to achieve global health goals. Population health coheres infectious disease, NCD's, and nutrition with behavioral economics, climate change, agriculture, resource scarcity, and the entire living ecosystem. To improve health, from rural villages to booming metropolises, there is a need for transdisciplinary and collaborative global health action. This panel convenes experts from around the Bay Area to explore cutting-edge research tackling complex global health challenges, and to debate the priorities for a growing, interconnected, and crowded Earth.

Promoting Transparency in Social Science Research
LocationUCLA, Royce Hall
DateMay 16, 2014

Ted was invited to give the keynote speech at the 2014 Annual Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) meeting at UCLA. The presentation covered recent progress toward research transparency in the social sciences and make the case for standards and practices that help realign scholarly incentives with scholarly values. 

Promoting Transparency in Social Science Research
LocationExperiments in Governance and Politics (EGAP) Meeting, UC Berkeley
DateApril 11, 2014

Ted was invited to speak at the Experiments in Governance and Politics (EGAP) meeting on transparency in the social sciences and make the case for standards and practices that help realign scholarly incentives with scholarly values.

Promoting Transparency in Social Science Research
LocationEconomics Department, UC Berkeley
DateApril 9, 2014

The presentation covers recent progress toward research transparency in the social sciences and make the case for standards and practices that help realign scholarly incentives with scholarly values. There is growing appreciation for the advantages of experimentation in the social sciences, but accompanying these changes is a growing sense that incentives, norms, and institutions under which social science operates undermine gains from improved research design. We describe promising, bottom-up innovations in the social sciences, including the three core practices of: disclosure; registration and preanalysis plans; and open data and materials. We also assess common objections to the move toward greater transparency, and argue that new practices need to be implemented in a way that does not stifle creativity or create excess burden for scholars.

Promoting Transparency in Social Science Research
LocationNew York University, Development Research Institute
DateApril 4, 2014

Ted was invited to present at NYU's Development Research Institute in April, 2014. His talk focused on the recent progress toward research transparency in the social sciences and make the case for standards and practices that help realign scholarly incentives with scholarly values. 

TEDxBerkeley talk: Climate, Conflict, and African Development
LocationZellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley
DateFebruary 8, 2014

Ted presented at the February 2014 TEDxBerkeley event at Zellerbach Hall. He discussed results from his paper 2013 Quantifying the Influence of Climate on Human Conflict, which he co-authored with Solomon Hsiang and Marshall Burke and appeared in Science

Understanding Ethnic Cooperation: Evidence from Experiments in Kenya and Tanzania
LocationAlumnae Hall, U.C. Berkeley
DateNovember 20, 2013

How much cooperation exists across ethnic lines in East Africa? And how is this cooperation affected by political circumstances and messages? This project, which is joint with several co-authors (Lars Ivar O. Berge, Kjetil Bjorvatn, Simon Galle, Dan Posner, Bertil Tungodden, Kelly Zhang), uses evidence from lab experiments in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to begin to answer these important questions.

African Youth, Education and Economic Development
LocationDakar, Senegal
DateOctober 3, 2013

A talk on the relationship between education, health and economic performance in Africa, and the role that impact evaluations can play in advancing public policy in this area.

International and Area Studies Commencement Address
LocationBerkeley, CA, USA
DateMay 13, 2013

Ted was the commencement speaker for UC Berkeley’s International and Area Studies Spring 2013 graduation. 

Conflict, Climate, and African Development (Harvard)
LocationCambridge, MA, USA
DateApril 2, 2013

In April 2013, Ted was an invited speaker in the Seymour E. & Ruth B. Harris lecture series, where he presented results from his paper Quantifying the Influence of Climate on Human Conflict. The lecture series is hosted bi-annually by the Department of Economics at Harvard University.

Conflict, Climate, and African Development (Oxford)
LocationOxford, UK
DateMarch 18, 2013

Ted gave the Keynote Speech at the 2013 Center for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) conference at Oxford University. He presented results from his paper Quantifying the Influence of Climate on Human Conflict, which he co-authored with Solomon Hsiang and Marshall Burke.

Understanding African Development: Trends and Prospects
LocationSan Francisco, CA, USA
DateMarch 9, 2013

The 2013 Pacific Conference on Development Economics (PacDev) was presented by the Bay Area Development Association and held at San Francisco State University. During the 2013 PacDev plenary session entitled Understanding African Development: Trends and Prospects, Ted Miguel and Bob Bates discussed the emerging economies of Africa in their talks.

UC Berkeley Homecoming Faculty Seminar
LocationBerkeley, CA, USA
DateOctober 5, 2012

Africa is besieged with drought, war and famine, yet since 2000 it has also experienced monumental economic growth after decades of decline. Paved roads, electricity, and other infrastructure have improved, malls and Internet cafes are sprouting up, and cell phones have become ubiquitous, indicating a substantial rise in disposable income. What is behind the rebound? Will it last? Ted explores one of the world’s most intriguing economic trends in one of UC Berkeley’s 2012 Homecoming Faculty Seminars.

(Credits: UC Berkeley faculty seminar brochure) 

Reshaping Institutions: Evidence on Aid Impacts Using a Preanalysis Plan (Stanford)
LocationPalo Alto, CA, USA
DateMay 18, 2012

The Global Crossroads Conference is held annually at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. It focuses on a topical phenomenon that has world-wide relevance. Starting with a foundation of academic research presented by thought leaders on the topic, the conference expands to engage business and political figures in a dynamic conversation. 

The theme for the 2012 Global Crossroads Conference was “Radical Political Transitions: Causes and Consequences”. Ted presented results from his paper Reshaping Institutions: Evidence on Aid Impacts Using a Preanalysis Plan, which he co-authored with Katherine Casey and Rachel Glennerster.

(Credits: Stanford Center for Global Business and the Economy) 

Reshaping Institutions: Evidence on Aid Impacts Using a Pre-analysis Plan (UC Berkeley)
LocationBerkeley, CA, USA
DateApril 27, 2012

The Center for Effective Global Action's 2012 Evidence to Action symposium, “The Road from Conflict to Recovery”, brought together academics and policymakers to discuss strategies for promoting recovery in fragile states and conflict-affected communities. In particular, Ted and Katherine Casey discussed the challenges of community driven development in post-war settings.  They presented results from their GoBifo study in Sierra Leone, an intensive program to promote democratic decision-making within villages, in which they found no impact on social norms (i.e. involvement of marginalized groups in community decision making).  They also discussed their use of the pre-analysis plan and the importance of having a registry for social science research to record such plans.

(Credits: CEGA website) 

Distinguished Teaching Award Ceremony
LocationBerkeley, CA, USA
DateApril 26, 2012

The Distinguished Teaching Award, instituted in 1959, is given annually by the Committee on Teaching, a standing committee of the Berkeley division of the Academic Senate. UC Berkeley’s most prestigious award for teaching is intended to encourage and recognize individual excellence in teaching. Such teaching rises above good teaching: it incites intellectual curiosity in students, engages them thoroughly in the enterprise of learning, and has a life-long impact. While acknowledging the fact that the Berkeley faculty comprises many outstanding teachers, the Committee on Teaching is extremely selective in determining the recipients of this award

Ted was one of five recipients of the 2012 Distinguished Teaching Award. He received this honor at the Distinguished Teaching Award Ceremony in UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Playhouse. A video of recipient profiles is here.

(Credits: UC Berkeley News, UC Berkeley Center for Teaching and Learning)

Understanding the Emerging Economies of Africa: Trends & Geopolitical Implications
LocationSan Francisco, CA, USA
DateFebruary 29, 2012

The World Affairs Council of Northern California hosted Ted for a lunchtime talk on how to understand the emerging economies of Africa. Ted examines Africa today and tackle tough questions such as:

(1) How are the economies in Africa doing in 2012 and which countries are in the rising tide of south-south trade 
(2) What geo-political effects will the rise of south-south cooperation have on the global economic landscape?

An audio recording of this talk is available from the World Affairs Council website.

(Credits: CEGA Website)

Reshaping Institutions: Evidence on External Aid and Local Collective Action
LocationSt. Louis, MO, USA
DateJune 9, 2011

The Econometric Society’s 2011 North American Summer Meeting was held at Washington University in St. Louis. During the development economics plenary session, Ted presented the results of his paper Reshaping Institutions: Evidence on Aid Impacts Using a Pre-analysis Plan, which he co-authored with Katherine Casey and Rachel Glennerster. 

Education as Liberation?
LocationBerkeley, CA, USA
DateApril 28, 2011

The Center for Effective Global Action's 2011 Evidence to Action symposium, “The Returns to Investment in Girls,” presented findings of several recent studies, each focused on early investments in girls that can lead to increased income generation and decision-making power in adulthood.  It also generated dialogue between researchers, policy makers, and donors to identify a learning agenda for the broader international development community. Ted and co-author Rebecca Thorton contributed to this dialogue by presenting the results of their paper Education as Liberation? (Other co-authors: Willa Friedman and Michael Kremer)

(Credits: CEGA website)

Civil War and Economic Development
LocationBoston, MA, USA
DateJune 6, 2009

The Econometric Society’s 2009 North American Summer Meeting was held at Boston University. During the development economics plenary session, Ted presented on civil war and economic development. 

Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations (Google)
LocationMountain View, CA, USA
DateJanuary 30, 2009

The Authors@Google series brings innovative authors to speak at Google. In 2009, Ted was invited to Google’s Mountain View, California Headquarters. He discussed his book Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations, which was written with Raymond Fisman. 

(Credits: Talks at Google)

Why are Poor Countries Poor?
LocationLos Angeles, CA, USA
DateOctober 28, 2008

Zócalo Public Square is a not-for-profit daily Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism. It fosters healthier, more cohesive communities by tackling important contemporary questions in an accessible, non-partisan, and broad-minded spirit.

In 2008, Ted examined the issues of corruption and economic development at the Goethe Institut in Los Angeles as part of the Zócalo Public Square lecture series. He argued that before we can help poor nations, we must first understand the violent, lawless thugs who have wrought havoc throughout the developing world. And to understand these gangsters, he said, we must first get inside their heads.

Click here to watch the lecture. 

(Credits: Zócalo website)

Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence and the Poverty of Nations (Microsoft)
LocationMountain View, CA, USA
DateOctober 23, 2008

In 2008, Ted presented at Microsoft Silicon Valley as part of its visiting speakers series. He discussed his book Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations, which was written with Raymond Fisman. 

Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations (Town Hall Seattle)
LocationSeattle, WA, USA
DateOctober 23, 2008

Town Hall is Seattle’s community cultural center, offering a broad program of music, humanities, civic discourse, and world culture events. In 2008, Ted was invited to Town Hall Seattle to present his book Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nation. The event was organized by the Seattle Town Hall Center for Civil Life with Elliott Bay Book Company. 

(Credits: Town Hall Seattle website) 

Identification and the Identity of Development Economics: Non-random Thoughts on the Use of Randomized Experiments
LocationDavis, CA, USA
DateMarch 17, 2007

The 2007 Pacific Conference on Development Economics (PacDev) was presented by the Bay Area Development Association and held at the University of California at Davis. During the 2007 PacDev plenary session entitled Identification and the Identity of Development Economics: Non-random Thoughts on the Use of Randomized Experiments, Ted Miguel and Michael Carter discussed and debated the rise of experimental research approaches in development economics and throughout the social sciences.