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.
I speak with Lev Moscow about the Nobel Prize in Economics (and what it says about the state of the economics profession). A Correction is a podcast that is directed towards high school teachers and students, based in New York City. Listen to the podcast here.
This week I had the pleasure of appearing on Doug Henwood’s political economy radio show, the LBO news. He picked my brain about the recent developments in the field of development economics and the work of Banerjee, Duflo and Kremer, in particular. This is a one-hour episode, with René Rojas being interviewed by the political demonstrations in Chile in the first half, and me being interviewed in the second half. You can download the podcast here or listen to it by pressing the play button below.
I recently wrote this opinion piece for openDemocracy on the work of this year’s winners of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. The so-called Nobel went to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, for promoting an experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.
In this article in The Mint, I explore the relevance of dependency theory/ies today, along with Farwa Sial and Carolina Alves. We also identify some common critiques of dependency theory and argue that these are rooted in misunderstandings about the theories.
“Economics is unique among the social sciences in having a single monolithic mainstream, which is either unaware of or actively hostile to alternative approaches.” (John King 2013: 17)
What does heterodox economics mean? Is the label helpful or harmful? Being outside of the mainstream of the Economics discipline, the way we position ourselves may be particularly important. For this reason, many around us shun the use of the term “heterodox” and advise against using it. However, we believe the reluctance to use the term stems in part from misunderstandings of (and sometimes disagreement over) what the term means and perhaps disagreements over strategies for how to change the discipline.
In other words, this is an important debate about both identification and strategy. In this blog, we wish to raise the issue in heterodox and mainstream circles, by busting a few common myths about Heterodox Economics – mostly stemming from the orthodoxy. This is a small part of a larger project on defining heterodox economics.
I recently published the post Diversity and Excellence: Not A Zero Sum Gamealong with colleagues for the Institute for New Economic Thinking’s (INET) blog series “Diversity and Pluralism in Economics: Problems and Solutions”.