Ideas for development


Published 08.08.18
Photo credit:
Abbie Trayler-Smith/Panos Pictures/DFID

Robin Burgess on motivating civil servants, breaking the poverty trap by increasing productivity, and the political economy of electricity

Audio file

In this interview, Robin Burgess discusses three ideas to foster socioeconomic development. First, he discusses how important the quality of civil servants is to development, and his work studying the Indian civil service to identify the key motivators that lead to effective policy implementation. Second, he delves into the causes of poverty. His research in India has shown that contrary to a common school of thought, it is not inherent unproductivity but lack of opportunity that traps people in poverty. Finally, he discusses the idea of electricity being a public good rather than an entitlement, and how this is panning out in Bihar, India.