Objectives of PRIMCED

Takashi Kurosaki
(Project leader, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)


Despite the efforts of long years in development, the absolute poverty remains one of the most urgent problems facing developing countries today. Some of the symptoms associated with the absolute poverty were also found in developed countries before they experienced the modern economic growth.

Given this background, this research attempts to provide a unified framework of long-term economic development and poverty reduction. In other words, it attempts to build a new knowledge base on economic development and developing countries.

More concretely, a group of co-researchers is organized for this project, led by development economists and comparative economic historians. These researchers closely collaborate on collecting primary data as well as on analyzing them. Through this collaboration, we are aiming at the synthesis of knowledge on poverty reduction, economic institutions, markets, and policies in the process of economic development.

Major Pillars of PRIMCED Analyses

The first pillar of PRIMCED analyses is microeconometric analysis of microdata collected in contemporary developing countries. The microdata cover those on households, firms, market transactions, agricultural production, etc. Original surveys are conducted in low-income developing countries in Asia and Africa to collect detailed information on household economies as well as economic institutions, contracts, and government policies.

The second pillar is comparative historical analysis of economic development, using both micro and macro data. Historical data on economic organizations and institutions are compiled from various records, including government statistics and filled-in survey questionnaires previously unexplored by researchers. Combining quantitative/microeconometric and descriptive/case-study analyses, the determinants of economic institutions, organizations, and policies, as well as their impact on economic performance are investigated in the historical context of economic development.

Under the third pillar, we attempt to combine the first two. We will first conduct quantitative empirical analyses with similar specifications for both contemporary and historical cases. We will then construct theoretical models to explain the observed contrast. Simulation analyses based on the theoretical models will be implemented to verify the interpretations.

Project Name

Our project name "Poverty Reduction, Institutions, Markets, and Policies in Developing Countries: Toward a Theory of Comparative Economic Development" symbolizes the objectives above. Its acronym is "PRIMCED".


バナー バナー