Development economics as transregional studies

Authored by: Ute Rietdorf

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429438233-70

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Abstract

Development economics is a field of expertise that – due to its intellectual history, its efforts to transfer research results across regions, and its widespread acceptance as applied science – lends itself almost naturally to scrutinizing its efforts in terms of transregional sources, influences, and possible futures. As will be shown, the roots and future of development economics can only be understood and/or imagined as transregional studies. Many scholars across times and world regions have shown interest in understanding the workings of society, and of the economy within it. Thus, development has been an object of study for centuries. In his History of Economic Analysis, J.A. Schumpeter starts with Graeco-Roman economics, followed by scholasticism and natural law, physiocrats and mercantilists, and entering the first classical situation at about 1790. He identified three techniques of economic analysis: economic history, statistics, and pure theory. Although economics lacks the benefits of exploratory experiments, it enjoys, according to Schumpeter, a unique source of information, namely ‘man’s extensive knowledge of the meaning of economic actions’ (Schumpeter 1994: 16, original emphasis). He also admitted that vision plays a huge role in formulating the way in which economic quantities hang together.

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