Conference Papers and Recordings

Below you find papers, programmes and videos from past conferences organised by the Centre for Finance and Development.

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Through its conferences, the Centre for Finance and Development aims at strengthening the dialogue and cooperation among academics, international organisations, NGOs, diplomatic missions, financial institutions and the private sector.

European Macro History Online Seminar
21 April – 9 June 2020


What can we learn from the economic effects of the 1918 flu pandemic and the public health measures taken back then? What measures did countries successfully use in the past to recover from economic depressions? What are the long-term economic effects of different inheritance rules?

These are only some of the questions that will be addressed by economic history experts in our brand-new European Macro History Online Seminar, which the CFD is organizing together with a consortium of sixteen other institutions.

Find out more about the seminar series


Each week, you will be able to download the slides and watch the recording of the latest seminar session here below (where available).



Session 1: "What Happened to the US Economy During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic? A View Through High-Frequency Data" with François Velde, Senior Economist and Research Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (21 April 2020)
Session 2: "Pandemics Depress the Economy, Public Health Interventions Do Not: Evidence from the 1918 Flu" with Stephan Luck, Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (28 April 2020)
Session 3: "The Ends of 30 Big Depressions" with Kevin O'Rourke, Professor of Economics at NYU Abu Dhabi (5 May 2020)
Session 4: "Napoleon’s Gift: Labor Shortages and Technology Adoption in England, 1790-1815" with Hans-Joachim Voth, Professor of Macroeconomics and Financial Markets at the University of Zurich (12 May 2020)
Session 5: "The economic effects of the English enclosures" with James A. Robinson, Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor at the University of Chicago (19 May 2020)
Session 6: "Export Booms and Labor Coercion: Evidence from the Lancashire Cotton Famine" with Mohamed Saleh, Professor of Economics at the Toulouse School of Economics (26 May 2020)
Session 7: "The Long-Term Effects of Equal Sharing: Evidence from Historical Inheritance Rules for Land" with Charlotte Bartels, Post-doctoral researcher at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) (2 June 2020)
Session 8: "International Banks: Re-Agents of Globalization?" with Christopher Meissner, Professor of Economics at the University of California, Davis (9 June 2020)

Too Small To Fail: Why Some Small Nations Outperform Larger Ones and How They Are Reshaping the World
9 March 2020


James Breiding presented his book Too Small To Fail: Why Some Small Nations Outperform Larger Ones and How They Are Reshaping the World, which tells the tale of some small, outperforming countries that have ‘arrived at the future first’, and are being forced to grapple as ‘laboratories of the future’ with problems impacting us all like climate change, immigration, artificial intelligence, aging populations, and slowing growth.

The book presentation was followed by a panel discussion with Jean-Pierre Roth, James Breiding, Cédric Tille, and Nicholas Niggli.

Event details


Too Small to Fail: Book presentation and panel discussion with James Breiding, Jean-Pierre Roth, Cédric Tille and Nicholas Niggli (9 March 2020)

Can Finance Aid the Poor? The Global Savings Glut, Finance, and Development
Lunch Briefing by Professor Nathan Sussman
25 February 2020


At the Lunch Briefing on 25 February 2020, CFD Director Professor Nathan Sussman discussed channelling savings from the wealthy for investment in the poor.

Presentation (PDF, 2.9 MB)

Read more

Professor Nathan Sussman at the Lunch Briefing "Can Finance Aid the Poor?" (25 February 2020)

Youth Transitions – A Global Interdisciplinary Policy Research Conference
20 – 21 February 2020


This Conference brought together researchers from academia across disciplines and policy think tanks from global South and North to analyse the state of policy research, debate and agenda on youth transitions.

It focussed on multiple dimensions of transitions: the youth employment crisis and future of work prospects; youth transitions in situations of conflict and peace-building; and youth participation in civic and political spheres.

The Conference aimed at defining knowledge gaps and proposing methods and partnerships for strengthening the policy and research interface on youth transitions. The participation of multiple stakeholders , public and private users of policy research, international governmental and non-governmental organizations brought a diversity of views to bear.

Find out more

1st Annual Conference of the Private Sector Development Research Network - Private Enterprise and Inclusion
12–13 December 2019


Below, find the videos of some of the high-level panel segments of the conference.

Conference programme

This conference was co-organised with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the CDC Group, the International Growth Centre (IGC), IDB Invest, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the Center for Global Development and the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR).

Development Finance Institutions – Role and Challenges in Promoting Inclusion: Panel discussion with Caroline Ashley, Liz Lloyd, Neil Gregory, Alan Rousso and Ugo Panizza (12 December 2019)
Measuring Investment Impact on Inclusion: Panel discussion with Emmanuelle Javoy, Alessandro Maffioli, Issa Faye, Miguel Laric and Leonardo Iacovone (13 December 2019)
What Have We Learnt about Making Private Investment in Emerging Markets More Inclusive? Keynote speech by Jane Nelson, Harvard Kennedy School (13 December 2019)
Pushing the Knowledge Frontier on Private Sector Development and Inclusion: Panel discussion with Nancy Lee, Dirk Willem te Velde, Debora Revoltella and Paddy Carter (13 December 2019)
Private Sector Development and Inclusion: Closing remarks by Hans Peter Lankes, IFC Vice-President (13 December 2019)

UNU-WIDER Annual Lecture with Santiago Levy
30 October 2019


The UNU-WIDER Annual Lecture 23 was delivered by Santiago Levy, main architect of Progresa/Oportunidades — Mexico's incentive-based health, nutrition and education program for the poor.

The title of his lecture was "Informality – Addressing the Achilles Heel of Social Protection in Latin America".

Download Santiago Levy's Policy Brief and the presentation (PDF, 1.76 MB).

This event was co-organised with the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER).

UNU-WIDER Annual Lecture 2019 by Santiago Levy: "Informality – Addressing the Achilles Heel of Social Protection in Latin America" (30 October 2019)

Social Impact Investment: The Impact Imperative for Sustainable Development
18 June 2019


Karen Wilson from OECD presented the OECD's new report on Social Impact Investment.

Download the report and the presentation (PDF, 1.8 MB).

This event was co-organised with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

SSES Annual Congress 2019 on Sustainable Development
13–14 JUNE 2019


The special theme of the Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) Annual Congress 2019 was Sustainable Development.

Full programme (PDF, 350 KB)

International Conference on Blended Development Finance and the New Industrial Policy
8-9 November 2018


Below, you find recordings from the two high-level panels.

Listen to all the other recorded sessions

Conference programme with links to papers and presentations (PDF, 386 KB)

This conference was co-organised with the Center for Global Development and the CDC Group.

Development Finance Institutions at the Crossroads with Nancy Birdsall, Colin Buckley, Alan Rousso and John Lipsky (8 November 2019)
Lessons from Blended Finance with Paddy Carter, Nancy Lee, Liang Wang, Kathryn Imboden, Shanaz Patel and Maria Teresa Zappia (9 November 2019)

2nd Interdisciplinary Sovereign Debt Research and Management Conference (DebtCon 2)
5–6 October 2017


This interdisciplinary conference joined the conversation across disciplinary and institutional lines, bringing together law, market, and policy practitioners with scholars in anthropology, economics, finance, history, law, political science, and sociology.

Full programme with links to papers and presentations (PDF, 504 KB)

This conference was co-organised with the Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University (IIEL) and the Faculté des sciences de la société of the University of Geneva.