Along with Erik Reinert, I’ve published A Modern Guide to Uneven Economic Development. In contrast to mainstream approaches to economics, this Guide addresses the complex reality of economic development as an inherently uneven process, exploring the ways of theorizing and empirically exploring the mechanisms with which the unevenness manifests itself. It covers a wide array of issues influencing wealth and poverty, technological innovation, ecology and sustainability, financialization, population, gender, and geography, considering the dynamics of cumulative causations created by the interplay between these factors.
I have a new paper out with Surbhi Kesar in the New School Department of Economics’ Working Paper series: Standing in the Way of Rigor? Economics’ Meeting with the Decolonizing Agenda.
This paper critically engages with various aspects of the decolonization movement in economics and its implications for the discipline. We operationalize the insights from this engagement using a survey of 498 economists that explores how faculty across different kinds of departments, disciplines, geographies, and identities perceive the problems of economics teaching, how they think economics pedagogy should be reformed, if at all, and how they relate to decolonial critiques of economics pedagogy. Based on the survey findings, we conclude that the mainstream of the field’s emphasis on technical training and rigor, within a narrow theoretical and methodological framework, likely stands in the way of the very possibility for decolonizing economics, given its strong contrast to key ideas associated with the decolonization agenda, such as positionality, centering power relations, exposing underlying politics of defining theoretical categories, and unpacking the politics of knowledge production. Nonetheless, the survey responses clearly chart out the challenges that the field faces in terms of decolonizing pedagogy, which is a first step towards debate and change.
I wrote a blog post for Developing Economics with Carolina Alves and Daniela Gabor on some of the revisionist takes on the consequences of the Washington Consensus. Check it out.
Happy to contribute to the interesting initiative The Economics Observatory with the blog post “#economicsfest: Does economics need to be ‘decolonised’?” In it, Carolina Alves and I reflect on the two roundtable discussions that D-Econ curated at the Bristol Festival of Economics last year (see here). We discuss historical efforts to decolonise economics, what we mean by the ‘colonisation’ of economics, the impact of colonisation on the discipline, and decolonisation of both teaching and research.
I just published a new article in the Review of Political Economy, “Nobel Rebels in Disguise — Assessing the Rise and Rule of the Randomistas,” which assesses the theoretical and empirical foundations of the use of randomised control trials in Economics, and its impact on policy debates in development economics and in the aid industry.
It was great fun to discuss the big questions in development economics with Prof. Dan Banik on his podcast In Pursuit of Development. Listen to it and read more about it here.
“The pandemic has revealed the poverty of our economic theory. Rupture with the old paradigm is the only route to recovery.”
I wrote a blog post with Surbhi Kesar for the Institute for New Economic Thinking on the Economics discipline’s lack of capacity to understand racial inequalities, based on survey data.
I wrote an article on how COVID-19 exposes weaknesses in the dominant Economics narrative, and how heterodox economics offer important alternatives, with Carolina Alves for the Review of Agrarian Studies. Here’s the abstract:
In this article, we argue that societies’ unpreparedness and inadequate responses to the Covid-19 pandemic expose weaknesses in the foundations of the dominant economic paradigm. We document how economics came to disembed itself from broader societal analysis and how this has influenced public policy in problematic ways, leading to privileging of efficiency over resilience. We then go a step further to consider the role of economic evidence in public policy more generally. Furthermore, we demonstrate how heterodox economics can enrich our understandings of our economies’ weaknesses and of how to build a more resilient and just economy. We conclude that we need an explanation of the crisis that is capable of seeing the economy as more than just markets and as embedded in society; one that is capable of linking the causes and consequences of the pandemic to our systems of production and distribution.
Read the full paper.
I recently wrote a review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital and Ideology for Nature. Read the full review.