Economic success – among individuals, firms, products and countries – is often unexpected and unpredicted.

William Easterly is a professor of economics at New York University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute. He specializes on issues related to economic growth and foreign aid.

William Easterly will draw on insights from Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek to explain why prediction is difficult, success is rare and failure is common; the advantages of decentralized decision making to discover what works best in the market and in public policy; and the need to rely on dispersed and local knowledge, rather than government planning, for poor countries to achieve growth.