Economists and Development

Written on December 1, 2006 by Max Oliva in Development

The conversation between economists such as Joseph Stiglitz, Jeffrey Sachs, Jagdish Bhagwati and Bill Easterly is worth being followed.
First things first. How about taking part on that conversation? You can ask a question to Jagdish Bhagwati at Managing Globalization, until today in order to receive a reply. As a background, I enclose several conversations beginning with Joseph Stiglitz Q&A, Jeffrey Sach’s Q&A and an interesting conversation which has taken part in the WSJ between Jeffrey Sachs and Bill Easterly.
“Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, is often cited as arguing for the “invisible hand” and free markets: firms, in the pursuit of profits, are led, as if by an invisible hand, to do what is best for the world. But unlike his followers, Adam Smith was aware of some of the limitations of free markets, and research since then has further clarified why free markets, by themselves, often do not lead to what is best. As I put it in my new book, Making Globalization Work, the reason that the invisible hand often seems invisible is that it is often not there.” J. Stiglitz
Ms Nancy Birdsall “had compared my book (In Defense of Globalization) with that of Stiglitz. In particular, she had compared, I was told, our respective Indexes to see how many times the phrases: “fair trade” and “social justice” had appeared in the Index; and of course she declared that Stiglitz outnumbered Bhagwati… …But the facile comparison, which leads to a conclusion exactly the opposite of what our respective works do, points to the real reason why populist books which rely on such phrases rather than the substance of the arguments, are so popular with the public…” J. Bhagwati
How about a debate on the effectiveness of foreign aid?
I hope you enjoy it…


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