STEG Newsletter - January 2024

Dear All,

STEG has had a busy start to 2024, hosting our Fourth Annual Conference in the second week of the year! We are also excited to share a couple of exciting upcoming events and new outputs. We hope to have more clarity on the year's call timeline soon, and will announce it as soon as it is finalised.

STEG’s Fourth Annual Conference and associated Thematic Workshops were held from 10-17 January at New York University, Abu Dhabi and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. Over 6 packed days, we heard 54 presentations on some of the latest research taking place in the field of Structural Transformation and Economic Growth. For the first time ever, we held our theme workshops in-person. Thank you to all who joined us in person and online! Recordings of all sessions are now available on YouTube, allowing you to revisit the events at your own pace. Find out more below.

We have set a date for our 2024 Annual Special Lecture, which will this year be given by Nobel laureate, Professor Esther Duflo. This online event will take place on the 25th of April at 4pm GMT. Please save the date and look out for the zoom registration link soon! 

We are thrilled to announce an upcoming STEG Virtual Course on 'Data in Macro Development’  for the spring of 2024, which will be taught by a series of lecturers and experts in the field. Registration links for the course, aimed at PhD students and interested economics faculty, will be available shortly. 

STEG Scientific Directors, Douglas Gollin and Joseph Kaboski, released a new STEG Synthesis Paper titled "New Views of Structural Transformation: Insights from Recent Literature". Find the link and summary below!

The STEG Working Paper Series has released four more papers on land and trade, flexible work for women, taxation in non-competitive markets, and employer protection's unintended harms. Find these new papers below and browse our growing publications library. 

There are a number of grant rounds still under evaluation and our small team is working to deliver applicant's decisions as quickly as possible. Proposals from the the Seventh Small Research Grants Call and the Sixth PhD Grants Call are currently under evaluation with decisions expected towards the end of February. Feedback on Fourth Large Research Grants Call proposals, and decisions for shortlisted applicants will be sent out towards the end of February. Lastly, proposals from the Fifth Ideas for Transformation Call (I4T 5) are also under evaluation, with decisions forecasted for March. Thank you for your continued patience!

Wishing you all the best for the year ahead! 


The STEG Team

Annual Conference and Theme Workshops 2024

Earlier in January, STEG hosted its Fourth Annual Conference and Thematic Workshops in-person in Abu Dhabi and Barcelona! We're thrilled to announce that the recordings of all sessions are now available online, allowing you to revisit the programme at your own pace. For a quick recap, click here.

Over 6 packed days, we heard 54 presentations on some of the latest research taking place in the field of Structural Transformation and Economic Growth. For the first time ever, we held our theme workshops in-person. The conference and workshops helped to demonstrate the breadth and quality of recent and ongoing work around structural change, and the various opportunities and challenges that are yet
to be explored. 

If you weren't able to attend the conference or if you would simply like to go back and review any of the presentations, you can find all the session recordings on YouTube here: STEG Annual Conference and Theme Workshops 2024 - YouTube. The programmes can be found on our Abu Dhabi and Barcelona event pages.

📽️📽️ Full YouTube Playlist 📽️📽️

SAVE THE DATE - Annual Special Lecture

The 2024 Annual Special Lecture will take place online on the 25th of April at 4pm GMT. This year we welcome Nobel laureate, Professor Esther Duflo, as our distinguished speaker. 

Please save the date and look out for the zoom registration link soon! 

STEG Virtual Course on Data in Macro Development

The Structural Transformation and Economic Growth research programme will be offering a free virtual course titled “Data in Macro Development” for the spring of 2024, which will be taught by a series of lecturers and experts in the field.

What? The course is designed around a series of 60-minute lectures with 15 minutes for Q&A. These lectures aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the various types of data being used in the field of macro development. This STEG Data course will explore the strengths, limitations and opportunities of existing and emerging data. We will unpack and discuss issues of selection, measurement, and interpretation across diverse data sources. Hopefully, the course will spark ideas for utilising specific data sets in your own research.  

Why? Macro development is a small, growing field. Textbooks are unavailable, and while many graduate programmes teach some of these concepts in their courses, very few have a specific course organised around and dedicated to macro development. Building on our previous "Key Concepts in Macro Development" course, this intensive virtual data-focused program delves deeper, equipping PhD students and even early-career faculty to navigate the diverse data landscapes encountered in macro development research. 

For whom? The course is open free-of-charge to all interested PhD students and economics faculty. Course materials (syllabus, lecture presentations, and recorded lectures) will also be available after the fact on the STEG website.  

How to attend? The course will start in early March, with one online lecture a week. Look out for the confirmed dates and a Zoom registration link for this exciting course shortly.

New STEG Synthesis Paper!

"New Views of Structural Transformation: Insights from Recent Literature"
by Douglas Gollin (Tufts University and CEPR) and Joseph Kaboski (University of Notre Dame and CEPR)

The landscape of development economics is changing! This paper explores an emerging field that bridges macro structural change and growth issues with micro data and analysis. It moves beyond the traditional focus on industrialisation and delves into a broader spectrum of transformations driving growth and development, including:

  • ✍️ Rural to urban: Examining the dynamics of urbanisation and its impact on economic activity.
  • ✍️ Home to market (and market to home): Investigating the evolving roles of informal and formal work, paid and unpaid labour.
  • ✍️ Informal to formal: Analysing the transition from informal to formal sectors and its implications for productivity and growth.
  • ✍️ Self-employment to wage work: Exploring the shift in employment patterns and its consequences for worker well-being and income distribution.

As the paper discusses, this emerging literature draws on new data sources and methods to understand the complex interplay of market failures, policy distortions, and obstacles hindering growth. This expanded understanding of structural transformation opens the door to:

  • 👉  Richer insights into the processes of growth and development.
  • 👉A wider range of potential policy levers for fostering inclusive and sustainable development.

Download the paper: 🔗 New Views of Structural Transformation|STEG (

New Papers under the STEG WP Series

Four new papers have been published under the STEG Working Paper Series.

If you would like to submit your paper to the STEG Working Paper Series, please contact the STEG Team at [email protected]Working papers that have been produced through STEG-funded projects are included in the series and we welcome papers from researchers directly affiliated with STEG as well as researchers' papers that have been presented at STEG-funded events including our Annual Conference and Theme Workshops.

The series is circulated widely through STEG’s network of researchers and policymakers in order that the results of the research receive thorough professional scrutiny and reach the hands of policymakers more quickly.

We look forward to collating more high-quality research under the STEG Working Paper Series as the STEG programme, and the research field more widely, progresses.

Important Dates

Calls under Evaluation

  • Fourth Large Research Grants Call - Decisions expected end of February 2024
  • Seventh Small Research Grants Call - Decisions expected end of February 2024
  • Sixth PhD Research Grants Call - Decisions expected end of February 2024
  • Fifth Ideas for Transformation Call - Decisions expected end of March 2024

Open Calls

  • There are currently no open calls. The future call timeline for 2024 is yet to be announced.

Upcoming Events

  • STEG Annual Special Lecture with Esther Duflo - 25 April 2024 @ 4pm GMT
  • STEG Virtual Data Course - Early March. Exact dates TBC

If you have any questions, please contact the STEG Team at [email protected].

Related content

STEG Working Paper Series

Misallocation and Product Choice

Stepan Gordeev, Sudhir Singh • Research Theme 3: Agricultural Productivity and Sectoral Gaps
STEG Working Paper Series

Financing Costs and Development

Tiago Cavalcanti, Joseph P. Kaboski, Bruno Martins, Cezar Santos • Research Theme 0: Data, Measurement, and Conceptual Framing