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Critique of Mainstream Economics Decolonizing Economics Heterodox Economics Publications

Standing in the Way of Rigor? Economics’ Meeting with the Decolonizing Agenda (new Working Paper)

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.

The abstract:

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.

Categories
Blog Critique of Mainstream Economics Decolonizing Economics Discrimination in Economics

Blog post: Does economics need to be ‘decolonised’?

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.

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Decolonizing Economics Methodology Publications

New article: Imputing Away the Ladder

Jacob Assa and I recently published our work on the implications of changes in measurement standards of GDP for global convergence debates – and the political economy implications of recent reforms. In short, we find that how we measure GDP is largely determined by Western institutions and the economic structures of Western economies, thus underestimating the growth of non-Western economies that have different economic structures. The recent increase in the proportion of imputations in GDP has also had the effect of boosting the GDP of the West relative to the rest of the world, which is the inspiration for the paper title: Imputing Away the Ladder.

The abstract:

What are the implications of changes in measurement standards of GDP for global convergence debates? What are the political economy implications? To answer the former question, we examine the changes in national accounting standards from the early 1990s. Revisions to the System of National Accounts (SNA) – the international standard for constructing GDP – include several major changes to how production is measured, including the reclassification of financial intermediation services, R&D, and weapons systems as productive activities – all areas in which countries in the West has had an advantage in recent decades. In addition, there has been an increase in the proportion of imputations in the 1993 and 2008 revisions, which privileges the economic structures of the West. Overall, we find that these changes have had the effect of boosting the GDP of the West relative to the rest of the world and thus to an underestimation of global convergence compared to previous measures of GDP. To answer the second question, the paper unpacks the political economy implications of national accounting standards favouring Western economies along several axes, including the impacts on voting shares in international institutions, domestic policy incentives and epistemological debates about sustainable development.

Read the full paper here. If you don’t have access to New Political Economy, you can request a PDF from Jacob or me through ResearchGate.

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Decolonizing Economics Events Video

Video: Decolonising Economics: What does it mean and how is it done?

In November 2020, I attended a really interesting panel on decolonising Economics at the Bristol Festival of Ideas, curated by Carolina Alves of D-Econ and chaired by Romesh Vaitilingam of the Economics Observatory. Along with Fadekemi Abiru, Surbhi Kesar, and Farwa Sia, I discussed Decolonising Economics: What does it mean and how is it done? You can view the recording here.

D-Econ also hosted another panel on decolonising economics, with Carolina Alves, Keston Perry, Imran Rasul, and Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe. Watch it here:Why Diversifying and Decolonising Economics Matters to Everyone.

Categories
Blog Critique of Mainstream Economics Decolonizing Economics Discrimination in Economics Heterodox Economics INET Teaching

Why Do Economists Have Trouble Understanding Racialized Inequalities? (Blog post)

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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.

Categories
Blog Decolonizing Economics

Decolonize your pandemic reading list (openDemocracy)

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A diverse reading list on pandemics compiled with Devika Dutt, Surbhi Kesar and Farwa Sial.

Categories
Decolonizing Economics Economic Development Heterodox Economics Presentations

Summer Academy for Pluralist Economics 2020

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Along with D-Econ, I’ll be hosing a workshop at Exploring Economics’ Summer Academy August 10-16th 2020 on Critical Development Economics/Decolonizing Economics. Register for the workshop here.

Categories
Decolonizing Economics Discrimination in Economics In the media Podcasts

New Podcast: On Diversifying and Decolonising Economics

podcast photo 2On February 27th 2020, the “Women in Science” project invited me to talk about diversifying and decolonising economics. This was a part of the Great Speaker Series campaign in Portugal in partnership with the British-born co-working space Second Home Lisbon. In the podcast, I outline how D-Econ came to be, how I came to be interested in heterodox economics, and why and how the missions of diversifying and decolonising economics are so essential. Listen to the podcast here.

Categories
Decolonizing Economics Development Finance Economic Development In the media

The Syllabus Cyberflâneur: Health Inequities, Financialization and Imperialism

With debate raging around the implications of COVID-19 for the “developing world”, Ingrid Kvangraven’s turn to guest curate the Cyberflâneur has come at the right time.[…] Ingrid has “chosen a selection of articles that can help us better understand how COVID-19 will impact developing countries and the underlying structures that lead to inequitable and underfunded health systems, with a focus on financialization and imperialism.” You’ll find some real gems, including on the “coloniality in knowledge production about public health”, why blended finance might not be as good as it sounds or how the IMF and World Bank have fed an audit culture “serving to obscure the destructive effects of NGO proliferation on public health systems”.

See the selection of articles with my comments here.

Categories
Blog Decolonizing Economics Op-ed

Diversify and decolonise your holiday reading list (openDemocracy)

Along with Devika Dutt and Surbhi Kesar, I put together an alternative winter reading list on behalf of D-Econ. It was published in openDemocracy’s ‘Decolonising the economy’ series. Check it out.

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