What’s new in development economics?

Debraj Ray

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Introduction This essay is meant to describe the current frontiers of development economics, as I see them. I may as well throw up my hands at the onset and say, There are too many frontiers. In recent years, the subject has made excellent use of economic theory, econometric methods, sociology, anthropology, political science, and demography and has burgeoned into one of the liveliest areas of research in all the social sciences. And about time, too: the study of economic development is probably the most challenging in all of economics, and - provided we are patient about getting to “the bottom line” and the “policy implications” - it can have enormous payoffs. Fortunately, considerations of space allow me to use brevity as an excuse for selectivity. So rather than attempt an exhaustive review of several areas, I would like to concentrate on a few methodological points around which recent literature appears to have clustered. More than anything else, I want to underscore a certain way of thinking about development that has become increasingly influential over the last few decades, one that is changing and will continue to change the face of research in this discipline. The main trend I would like to try and document is a move - welcome, in my opinion - away from a traditional preoccupation with the notion of convergence. This is the basic notion that given certain parameters, say savings or fertility rates, economies inevitably move toward some steady state.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationNew Frontiers in Economics
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Number of pages24
    ISBN (Electronic)9780511754357
    ISBN (Print)0521545366, 9780521836869
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


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