Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



The Controversial Debate on Development Economics: An Opinion

Author: S.I. Cohen

Papers on the state of development economics (DE) often make good presidential addresses and inaugural lectures and fit well into Festschriften for old-timers. With notable exceptions, many papers show significant degrees of repetition, speculation and ideology in arguments. In general, the negative tones in the debate tend to exceed the positive tones. This paper, which has a positive tone, focuses particularly on epistemological aspects of the discussion which have hardly been treated so far. In doing so, we emphasize the mutual relationship between DE and mainstream economics and hope to be in a better position to pass judgments on DE and the debate on DE. The paper sketches an outline for evaluation, gives a verdict and ends with a few sentences on potential breakthroughs.

S.I. Cohen

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