Epistemics of Development Economics: Toward a Methodological Critique and Unity

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995 - Business & Economics - 196 pages
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The effective use of development economic theories in practice is limited, the authors contend, by the lack of explicit criterion for judging their scientific content. The directional progress of critical research and teaching is also constrained by this deficiency. This study advances a meta-theory designed to assist in evaluating the scientific validity of theories in economic development and how these theories can be improved to assist social practice. Using this model, the study then examines existing theories, dividing them into explanatory and prescriptive theories. The explanatory theories include the stage-based theories of Marx, Schumpeter, and Rostow, and factor-based theories, including capital-based, human-capital-based, and technology-based theories. The prescriptive theories include explanatory-theory-based prescriptions, interventionist prescriptive theories, and theories of economic planning.

In conclusion, the authors contend that modern analysis of development economics is plagued with logical ills, misleading notions, and a weak theoretical structure that lacks scientific appeal. Most of the theories, except for those of Marx and Schumpeter, neglect an analysis of the mechanism of change.


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Survey of Literature
On the Criterion for Evaluating Scientific Theories Problems and Methods
Explanatory Theories in Economic Development
Factorbased Theories of Economic Development
Prescriptive Theories and the Development Process
Conclusions and Suggestions
Name Index
Subject Index

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Page xvii - THE Theory of Economics does not furnish a body of settled conclusions immediately applicable to policy. It is a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind, a technique of thinking, which helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions.

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About the author (1995)

KOFI KISSI DOMPERE is Associate Professor of Economics at Howard University. The author of several articles and monographs, he is interested especially in economic theory and operations research, cost-benefit analysis as it relates to policy, and is a contributor to the theory of fuzzy decision mathematics and intelligent fuzzy control systems. He also researches epistemic problems of scientific methods, especially those in economics and decision theory.

MANZUR EJAZ is a health economist with the government of the District of Columbia and works with the World Bank on various development projects. Additionally, he is a newspaper columnist and a literary critique.

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