THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
The Economics Profession in Pakistan: A Historical Analysis
Economics is a policy science: its claim is to describe policies that can improve peoples’ lives. Its usefulness for policymaking, therefore, depends on how well economists understand and interpret economic behaviour. In other words, successful economic policy entails a good understanding of the dynamics of economic change. In turn, a model of economic change requires analysis of institutions and organisations in the society. Institutions are the informal conventions (customs) and formal rules by which the members of a society organise the production and distribution of goods and services. Organisations are the players in the economy, including the state (executive, legislature and judiciary), private businesses (profit-seeking individuals and corporate entities), and private non-profit associations (NGOs, professional groups and bodies). Both institutions and organisations change with the evolution of each society and economy. Much as economists disagree on the underlying assumptions and interpretation of “facts” about economic change, they have a broad agreement that the discipline of economics must be embedded in the study of interactions between institutions and organisations.