The developer’s dilemma presentation at UN DESA

The developer’s dilemma – hybrid event at UN DESA

On Wednesday 28 September, Kunal Sen attends the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) office in New York to present key findings and policy lessons from the new Open Acess UNU-WIDER book, The developer’s dilemma.

The hybrid event is hosted by UN DESA and moderated by Navid Hanif, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development in DESA, and includes a discussion with experts from UNDP and DESA.  

Join the hybrid event - register here


Kunal Sen, Director of UNU-WIDER
Presentation on the Developer’s Dilemma: overview and policy recommendations

Navid Hanif, ASG for Economic Development, DESA
Welcome and introduction remarks

Discussion with UNDP and DESA colleagues

Moderator | Wenyan Yang, Chief, Global Dialogue for Social Development Branch, DISD/DESA

Pedro Conceição, Director of the Human Development Report Office, UNDP
Shantanu Mukherjee, Director, Economic Analysis and Policy Division, DESA
Navid Hanif, ASG for Economic Development, DESA

Q&A with the audience

About the developer's dilemma

The developer’s dilemma - Structural transformation, inequality dynamics, and inclusive growth, co-edited by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Andy Sumner, and Arief Anshory Yusuf, reflects on the challenge that developing countries face during periods of economic development - the tension between building a productive economy and the unequal distribution of the benefits of economic development.

Economic development theory, associated with Kuznets, Lewis, and others, suggests that the process of structural transformation — when production transitions from lower-productivity to higher-productivity activities — leads to upward pressure on inequality, at least in the short term, because economic development processes start unevenly.

Drawing on case studies from nine developing countries, The developer’s dilemma shows that rising inequality is not inevitable. In depth analysis reveals insights into the pathways of structural transformation and the likely inequality effects – and the specific policy approaches that can best mitigate the increase in inequality.