1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Special Events (2000 - 2009)

Notes on Development Economics (Draft)

It has been accepted, even by the mainstream, that macroeconomics in "developing" and "transition" economies needs its own special treatment - witness the recent publication of new, fat textbooks by Agenor/Montiel and Jha (and for all I know, possibly others). In the mainstream fashion, they try to homogenize critical ideas into rational actor goo, but the fact that the books were written and sell indicates that a long effort on the part of people doing macro in non-industrialized countries to point out that they do have special features has in part paid off. I'll try to sketch below how this intellectual beachhead might be extended.

The point (based on non-formalized historical/institutional reasoning by people like Amsden, Wade, and Chang) that hands-on interventionist policies have played an essential role in supporting industrialization and growth in both now-rich and poor countries has also sunk in. This is not to say that analyses of industrial policy and sensible protectionism dominate mainstream discourse - of course they do not - but that conventional wisdom has been on the defensive at least since the Bank's East Asian Miracle report. Again, there is a beachhead to be expanded.

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