For thousands of years, the world was a grim place. Famine, disease, and violence were the norm in human societies. Even 500 years ago the world was a poor, sick, and violent place. But for the last 200 years that has been changing. Rapidly. The world is now a much better place, albeit not for everyone. In spite of evident material progress, there are important challenges affecting millions. Not surprisingly, societies and governments design strategies and policies to both nurture the elements of progress and deal with relevant problems. In this sense, there are a few important questions. What is progress? Why do some societies thrive while others suffer? How do we know what works and what doesn’t? What can inform the design and implementation of better interventions aimed to make the world a better place? Trying to answer these questions is extremely important. If we truly care about others and the world we live in, understanding how wealth is created is crucial for nurturing it and spreading it.
Carlos Carvalho, Greg Salmieri, Steven Rashin