BiographyAt Davidson College since 1980 Hess taught courses in macroeconomics, economic development, international finance, population economics, and mathematical economics. In 2004, he developed a new course, Economic Growth and Sustainable Development. Over the years he has been fortunate to receive the three major teaching awards at the College.
In the Economic Growth and Sustainable Development text, Hess draws on microeconomics and macroeconomics, economic development, international economics, econometrics, behavioural economics, economic history, and demography. It is one of the first undergraduate texts to address comprehensively both economic growth and sustainable development.
While Economic Growth and Sustainable Development is primarily an undergraduate textbook, the blending of theory with evidence to inform policy should also appeal to scholars and policy makers in international development. Nor is the book directed solely at economics students. The content and coverage are multidisciplinary, and should be of interest to students in political science, environmental science, sociology, history, and even philosophy. In the second edition (2016) increased attention is given to poverty, income equality, social capital, and the insights of behavioural economics for sustainable development.
Hess also serves as president of the board of Nepal Orphans Home, a non-profit organization founded by his brother, Michael, in 2005. Nepal Orphans Home (NOH) attends to the welfare of children in Nepal who are orphaned, abandoned, or not supported by their parents. NOH provides for the children’s basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing, as well as schooling and health care, and administers to their emotional needs with love and compassion, allowing them to grow up in a nurturing environment. In 2016 NOH operated four homes on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Nearly half of the 120 children provided for are former Kamlari girls rescued from indentured servitude. Volunteer Nepal, an affiliate volunteer program, draws talented, compassionate people of all ages from around the world and identifies placements throughout Nepal that will benefit from the volunteers’ time, energy, and skills. NOH’s Chelsea Education and Community Center provides vocational training to our children and adult education to local women.
Peter’s wife, Boo, has been secretary/treasurer of Nepal Orphans Home since the beginning, and together they have spent five extended periods of time at the orphanage during the summer and academic vacations.