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Development Economics

Are There Principles of Development Economics?

As we have already told that the economic development is neither traditional neo- classical economics, nor it is political economy it is just a body of economic principles and generalizations which can be employed to remove the poverty of the poor nations.

In this respect, the famous development economist Gerald Meier writes ” Development economists must operate away from simplified premises of neo-classical economics”. He further says economic development is not a coherent or self-contained discipline.

Even more strictly, he suggests that students of economic development are ” denied recourse to a set of general principles “. With such-like feelings regarding development economics, some economists are of the view that this branch of economics is little more than a heterogeneous collection of ad-hoe generalization, impressionistic rules of thumb, unsystematic ideological relations, and unscientific approaches to the problem of mass world property. But such like feelings and views regarding economic development are not correct.

Economic development is eclectic and inter-disciplinary, but not undisciplined. It is no less broad than labour economics or urban economics or economic demography, or any of the more interesting applied fields of economics.

Economic development is not neo-classical, rather it relies on a vision of human behaviour that is choice oriented. The historical and institutional analysis of groups (what Marx calls classes) with common economic interest in useful in penetrating development problems.

Albert Hirschman has distinguished between the “Synthetic Views’ and Whole Views in respect of discussion of social science. He says that the synthetic views are sparse, parsimonious, elegant, scientific and simple.

But the whole views are general, less rigorous, less disciplined and less tidy. Thus, the principles of economic development can not be attained with the synthetic views, rather they are concerned with whole views.  Economic development is multi-dimension phenomena. According to approaches to it and likely solution will be correspondingly multi-dimensional.

Development economics deals with the general equilibrium of under-development. According to J. K. Galbraith requires the equilibrium to be broken, and that only big shocks can do so. The war or revolution, urban or international migration and mass education are amongst the most common of these shocks.

Thus, if under-development is considered as a state of general equilibrium, then development will be consisted of series of disequilibria. The general economics is based upon the principles of efficiency and equity. In the same way, the efficiency of principles of Development Economics can be tested od the ground of equity and efficiency.

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