Frontiers of Development Economics: The Future in Perspective

Frontiers of Development Economics: The Future in Perspective

Frontiers of Development Economics: The Future in Perspective

Frontiers of Development Economics: The Future in Perspective

Synopsis

With contributions from 35 leading economists, this forward-looking book explores the future of development economics against the background of the past half-century of development thought and practice. Outstanding representatives of the past two generations of development economists assess development thinking at the turn of the century and look to the unsettled questions confronting the next generation.The volume offers a thorough analysis of the broad range of issues involved in development economics, and it is especially timely in its critique of what is needed in development theory and policy to reduce poverty. An overriding issue is whether in the future 'development economics' is to be regarded simply as applied economics or whether the nature and scope of development economics will constitute a need for a special development theory to supplement general economic theory.'Frontiers of Development Economics' is an ideal reference for all those working in the international development community.

Excerpt

This volume is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the evolution of development thought and its relation to development policy. Over the past 50 years, two generations of development economists have sought to analyze the process of development and to formulate policies that might reduce international poverty. Building on their assessment of what we do—and do not—know about development, the contributors to this volume emphasize issues that will challenge the next generation of development academics and practitioners alike.

Development economics is about the big issues: how economies and societies grow and change. They are the issues that were at the heart of the work of classical economists—in particular, Smith, Ricardo, and Marx. the “pioneers” of development economics, writing soon after World War ii, were firmly aware of these intellectual connections and roots. They initially recognized the heritage of classical growth economics. the pioneers were also directly concerned with the role of changing behavior and institutions in the process of development, issues that those working in development economics have been emphasizing strongly in recent years. It is therefore now of great value for a new generation of development economists to interact with the earlier generations. They have much to learn, not only in terms of ideas and concepts but also in terms of wise judgment on what is important. of special relevance for future examination are the unsettled issues highlighted in this volume.

Development economists have, throughout the last 50 years, been strongly involved with issues of policy. This involvement implies that the role of the state must be at center stage. On this subject there has been a fundamental change in development thinking. in the early years, following World War ii, there was, broadly speaking, a mistrust of markets, including world markets, influenced in large part by the experience of the Great Depression. There was also confidence in the ability of government to take an effective and productive role in directing . . .

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