Macroeconomic Research and Policy Making: Processes and Agenda

2020:172
Publication Year : 2020

It is indeed an honour to present the Mahbub ul Haq Memorial lecture this year at the PSDE. Dr Haq was the single most important economist that Pakistan has produced. He laid the groundwork for the development planning as well as affected many a policy debate in the international circles the most memorable of which is his human development Index. He is the only economist whose ideas influenced country policy and who developed an international to engage in international development discourse. We should all feel his loss enormously. Maybe he could have led us public policy people into a profession and a community. Maybe he could have developed domestic debates and thinking. Maybe the donors would have engaged with him and allowed him to influence the domestic policy and research agenda. Yet I fear he too might have failed to form a research community where funding incentivises individual rent-seeking over debate, conversation and agenda-setting [see Haque and Khan (1998 and 2017)]. I do recall that the Pakistani economists in the World Bank could not come together to memorialise him upon his death.