Lant Pritchett

Professor of the Practice of International Development
Faculty Chair, MPA/ID Program
Harvard Kennedy School
Office Address
Mailing Address
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 15
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-496-4562
Fax: 617-496-2554
Ramie Jacobson (617-495-2133)
Lant Pritchett


Lant Pritchett is Professor of the Practice of International Development at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (as of July 1, 2007).

In addition he is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Global Development. He was co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics and worked as a consultant to

He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1983 with a B.S. in Economics and in 1988 from MIT with a PhD in Economics.

After finishing at MIT Lant joined the World Bank, where he held a number of positions in the Bank's research complex between 1988 and 1998, including as an adviser to Lawrence Summers when he was Vice President from 1991-1993. From 1998 to 2000 he worked in Indonesia. From 2000 to 2004 Lant was on leave from the World Bank as a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 2004 he returned to the World Bank and moved to India where he worked until May 2007.

Lant has been part of the team producing many World Bank reports, including: World Development Report 1994: Infrastructure for Development, Assessing Aid: What Works, What Doesn't and Why (1998), Better Health Systems for Indias Poor: Findings, Analysis, and Options (2003),World Development Report 2004: Making Services Work for the Poor, Economic Growth in the 1990s: Learning from a Decade of Reforms (2005).

In addition he has authored (alone or with one of his 22 co-authors) over 50 papers published in refereed journals, chapters in books, or as articles, at least some of which are sometimes cited. In addition to economics journals his work has appeared in specialized journals in demography, education, and health. In 2006 he published his first solo authored book, Let Their People Come, and in 2013 his second, The Rebirth of Education: Schooling Ain’t Learning.

Lant, an American national, was born in Utah in 1959 and raised in Boise, Idaho. Perhaps because of this, he has worked in, or traveled to, over fifty countries and has lived in three other countries: Argentina (1978-80), Indonesia (1998-2000), and India (2004-2007, & 2011-2012).

Lant has been married since 1981 to Diane Tueller Pritchett and together they have three children.

[And nothing else. Some bios list non-family and non-professional accomplishments like climbing Everest or playing the cello making it seem as if all of the rest was just tossed off. I believe the only point of this is to make the rest of us, who collapse on the couch and watch Friends reruns at the end of the day, feel like slackers. I think getting the above done while being a husband and father to three children is plenty.]



  • DEV-101 Economic Development: Theory and Evidence


  • DEV-401Y Applications and Cases in International Development (spring)

Media Expertise

Lant Pritchett welcomes media inquiries on the following subjects:

Additional experts may be found by clicking on each subject listed. You may contact faculty directly or if you need assistance contact the Communications Office at 617-495-1115.


For a complete list of faculty citations from 2001 - present, please visit the HKS Faculty Research Connection.

Selected Publication Citations:

  • Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles
    • Pritchett, Lant. "Can Rich Countries be Reliable Partners for National Development." Horizons: Journal of International Relations and Sustainable Development Winter (Vol 2) (2015).
    • Pritchett, Lant, and Martina Viarengo. "Does Public Sector Control Reduce Variance in School Quality?" Education Economics 23.5 (August 2015): 557-576.
    • Pritchett, Lant and Sandefur, Justin. "Learning from Experiments When Context Matters." American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings (May 2015).
    • Pritchett, Lant and Sandefur, Justin. "Context Matters for Size: Why External Validity Claims and Development Practice Don't Mix." Journal of Globalization and Development 4.2 (2014): 161-197.
    • Pritchett, Lant, and Lawrence H. Summers. "Asiaphoria, Meet Regression to the Mean." Prospects for Asia and the Global Economy (2014).
    • Andrews, Matthew, Lant Pritchett, and Michael Woolcock. "Looking Like a State: Techniques of Persistent Failure in State Capability for Implementation." Journal of Development Studies 49(1) (January 2013): 1-18.
    • Pritchett, Lant. "Who is Not Poor? Dreaming of a World Truly Free of Poverty." World Bank Research Observer 21.1 (Spring 2006): 1-23.
    • Pritchett, Lant, and Michael Woolcock. "Solutions When the Solution Is the Problem: Arraying the Disarray in Development." World Development 32.2 (February 2004): 191-212.
    • Sumarto, Sudarno, Asep Suryahadi, and Lant Pritchett. "Safety Nets or Safety Ropes? Dynamic Benefit Incidence of Two Crisis Programs in Indonesia." World Development 31.7 (July 2003).
    • Lindauer, David and Lant Pritchett. "What’s the Big Idea? Three Generations of Development Advice" Economia (2002).
    • Filmer, Deon, Jeffrey S. Hammer, and Lant Pritchett. "Weak Links in the Chain II: A Prescription for Health Policy in Poor Countries." World Bank Research Observer 17.1 (2002): 47-66.
    • Pritchett, Lant. "Where Has All the Education Gone?" World Bank Economic Review (December 2001).
    • Pritchett, Lant and Deon Filmer. "Estimating Wealth Effects Without Expenditure of Data - Or Tears: An Application to Enrollments in States of India." Demography (February 2001).
  • Books
    • Lant Pritchett, Matthew Andrews, and Michael Woolcock. Building State Capability: Evidence, Analysis, Action. Oxford University Press, 2017.
    • Pritchett, Lant. The Rebirth of Education: Schooling Ain’t Learning. Brookings Institution Press, 2013.
    • Pritchett, Lant. Let Their People Come: Breaking the Gridlock on Global Labor Mobility. Brookings Institution, 2006.
  • HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series
    • Nadel, Sara, and Lant Pritchett. "Searching for the Devil in the Details: Learning About Development Program Design." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP16-041, August 2016.
    • Andrews, Matthew, Lant Pritchett, and Michael Woolcock. "The Challenge of Building (Real) State Capability." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP15-074, December 2015.
    • Pritchett, Lant, and Yamini Aiyar. "Value Subtraction in Public Sector Production: Accounting Versus Economic Cost of Primary Schooling in India." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP15-027, June 2015.
    • Pritchett, Lant. "The Risks to Education Systems from Design Mismatch and Global Isomorphism." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP14-017, April 2014.
    • Pritchett, Lant, Kunal Sen, Sabyasachi Kar, and Selim Raihan. "Trillions Gained and Lost: Estimating the Magnitude of Growth Episodes." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP14-016, March 2014.
    • Pritchett, Lant, and Charles Kenny. "Promoting Millennium Development Ideals: The Risks of Defining Development Down." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP13-033, September 2013.
    • Hausmann, Ricardo, Lant Pritchett, and Dani Rodrik. "Growth Accelerations." KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP04-030, July 2004.
  • Research Papers/Reports
    • Pritchett, Lant, and Martina Viarengo. "The Illusion of Equality: The Educational Consequences of Blinding Weak States, For Example." Center for Global Development Working Paper 178 and Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) Working Paper 09-03, June 2009.
    • Pritchett, Lant and Michael Woolcock. "Solutions When The Solution is the Problem: An Array of the Disarray in Development.” Center for Global Development Working Paper #10, September 2002.

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