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The ICEA/DSA Masters Dissertation Prize

In 2015 the ICEA launched its Masters Dissertation Prize in association with the Development Studies Association (DSA – www.devstud.orgs.uk) The annual prize of £1,000 is awarded to the best masters dissertation on development economics submitted to the DSA.

The 2016 DSA/ICEA dissertation prize has been awarded to Robert Mwanamanga from Bradford University. His paper tackled a central question of development: “Does foreign aid promote growth? Evidence from Malawi”. The prize judges noted how it starts with an extremely capable review of aid-growth theories from the 1940s onwards, in a neat structure of 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation theories. This is paralleled by a review of empirical studies over the same period. The major criticisms of aid are also addressed. After describing the economic background in Malawi, the paper goes on to a set of statistical analyses testing different theories on the mechanisms which link aid and economic growth against Malawi data. The study concludes that aid to Malawi shows diminishing, even negative returns, but it recognises that this at least partly reflects the fact that Malawi is one of the most aid dependent countries in the world. (Robert’s paper is available here.)

The judges highly commended Takeshi Miwa (University of Sheffield) for his work, “Drug prescription practices in the private health sector: a case study of Lugala Lutheran Hospital in rural Tanzania”. WHO recommends a maximum of 2 prescriptions per patient visit. The paper reviews hypotheses on the causes of overprescribing and tests them against the hospital’s data. The results suggest that prescribing was ‘somewhat suboptimal’ and that staff experience was a factor.

2015 was the first year for the ICEA/DSA Masters Dissertation prize.  The prize of £1,000, which is wholly funded by the ICEA, was won by Matthew Juden of SOAS for his dissertation on “Realist random controlled trials of development interventions.”

The annual prize is awarded to the best dissertation on development economics submitted to the Development Studies Association (DSA).  A call for submissions for the 2016 prize will be issued shortly.

More details including a copy of the 2015 winner’s paper can be found on www.devstud.org.uk


Notice of ICEA meeting on Wednesday 17th May 2017, at 18h00 for 18h30, Hugh Goldsmith, will speak on “Infrastructure economics and finance in the (very) long run” Meeting

ICEA Future Meeting Programme for 2017

Judith Plummer, will speak on “Delays in infrastructure projects” on Wednesday 14th June 2017

Daniel Hulls, will speak on “The agricultural sector in Africa” on Tuesday 11th July 2017

August 2017 ICEA Summer break

AGM, Tuesday 12th September 2017

Ed Straw, will speak on “TBC” on Tuesday 10th October 2017

Tony Travers, will speak on “London and its impact on the UK economy” on Wednesday 15th November 2017

Xmas Social, Wednesday 13th or Tuesday 19th December 2017 (both reserved)

Tuesday 9 January 2018

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Wednesday 11 July 2018

AGM, ?? September 2018


Meetings are held at The Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT, www.artworkersguild.org is located about halfway down the West Side of the Square click for map.


Our usual meeting date is now the second or third Wednesday of the month at 6.00 for 6:30 p.m. The meeting itself lasts until about 8 pm, and we aim to be out of the drinks room by 9 pm.

Our standard format is a discussion meeting with an initial keynote address followed by questions and contributions from the floor. The keynote address may be by a Guest Speaker or by an ICEA member.  We aim to hold nine meetings a year. In the interests of topicality and to accommodate speakers’ travel arrangements, we work to a short-term rolling programme rather that fixing an annual programme in advance.


A small charge is made to cover the costs of drinks and other refreshments, which are served before and after the meeting.  Non-members welcome; guest fee – £5; Students – £2.50.


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