James E. Foster
Professor of Economics and International Affairs
|Address:||Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW
Areas of Expertise
Development economics, inequality and poverty, economic theory and policy
On Sabbatical 2014–2015 Academic Year
James E. Foster is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at The George Washington University, and Director of the Institute for International Economic Policy in the Elliott School of International Affairs. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University, holds a Doctorate Honoris Causa, from Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo (Mexico), and is an Honorary Member of the SCR, Magdalen College, Oxford.
Professor Foster's research focuses on welfare economics — using economic tools to evaluate and enhance the wellbeing of people. His joint 1984 Econometrica paper is one of the most cited papers on poverty; it introduced the FGT Index, which has been used in thousands of studies and was the basis for targeting the Progresa/Oportunidades program in México. Other research includes work on economic inequality with Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen; on poverty and inclusive growth with Miguel Szekely, Former Undersecretary of Education in México; on multidimensional poverty with Sabina Alkire, Director of Oxford's Poverty and Human Development Initiative; and on literacy with Kaushik Basu, Chief Economist of the World Bank. Foster recently visited Harvard University where he co-taught a doctoral seminar on Welfare Economics with Professor Sen, and currently teaches a course on Game Theory and Strategic Thinking with Professor Basu in the Elliott School.
Ph.D., Cornell University