In sponsoring the First Arnold C. Harberger Distinguished Lecture on Economic Development, the Burkle Center for International Relations celebrates Al Harberger as an eminent scholar and teacher. The lectures provide a special forum for outstanding students of international economics and policy to present their thoughts and research on issues like those that Harberger himself has addressed.
Arnold Harberger's pioneering studies on taxation, development, cost benefit analysis, and trade policy have marked him as an economist with incredible breadth, from theory to policy, from the United States to developing countries. His outstanding work is reflected, inter alia, in four publications: Project Evaluation (1972), Taxation and Welfare (1974), World Economic Growth (1984), and Trade Policy and the Real Exchange Rate (1985). In these works, Harberger first elaborated the theory of cost-benefit analysis as applied by modern governments. This was followed by analyses of issues of taxation and trade policy, mainly focused on the developing countries. Abroad, he has worked on policy matters with the governments of a wide range of countries, including China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Canada and every country in Latin America, except Cuba and Peru. In every case, his influence has helped to create, maintain and extend the wave of liberalization that is sweeping developing economies.
He is personally responsible (along with a generation of his students) for many of the changes transforming the Chilean economy, which in 2006 became the country with the highest nominal GDP per capita in Latin America. Outside of Latin America, his work has had, and will no doubt continue to have, influence on the policies of China, India, and Indonesia, as well as other countries. Along with a myriad of honors, Harberger was formerly the President of the American Economic Association.
Established in 1997, the Arnold C. Harberger Distinguished Lecture on Economic Development celebrates Al Harberger as an eminent scholar and teacher. The lectures provide a special forum for outstanding students of international economics and policy to present their views and research to the UCLA community and the public.