Impoverished Economics? A Critical Assessment of the New Gold Standard (new essay)

I wrote an essay for the World Development Symposium on Development and Poverty Alleviation. Here is the abstract:

This article situates the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in the history of thought on development, tracing how the focus, theory and methods have shifted in the field. The article evaluates theoretical and methodological critiques of the way randomized control trials (RCTs) are employed by the laureates, as well as attempts to overcome these challenges. In terms of theory, the article demonstrates what gets lost when experiments are guided by methodological individualism and assumptions of individual utility-maximizing behavior. In terms of methodology, the article unpacks the limits of RCTs related to their causal model, and their lack of attention to human agency and wider socio-economic context. Finally, the article discusses the experimental approach’s relevance for research and policy-making and cautions against any approach becoming a “gold standard,” due to the importance of pluralism for maintaining an open debate about development.

Read the full article here and do check out the other essays as well.

Samir Amin’s Legacy and Relevance Today (DSA 2019 Panel)

Please consider submitting to this panel on the legacy of Samir Amin that I am co-convening with Maria Dyveke Styve (University of Bergen) and Ushehwedu Kufakurinani (University of Zimbabwe) at the Development Studies Association (DSA) conference at the Open University, Milton Keynes, June 19th to 21st 2019. Continue reading “Samir Amin’s Legacy and Relevance Today (DSA 2019 Panel)”

New Working Paper: Imputing Away the Ladder?

I recently published Imputing Away the Ladder? Implications of Changes in National Accounting Standards for Assessing Inter-country Inequalities as a Working Paper with Jacob Assa with the Global Poverty and Inequality Dynamics Research Network.

Read our blog post for the GPID network here. I also summarized our arguments in a Twitter thread.

Our findings were also covered in UnHerd. You can download our data here.