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Fine Heterodox Critiques Of The 2019 Economic Nobel Prize

Summary:
The economics Nobel Prize was announced on Monday.There has been a good Twitter debate on the 2019 Nobel prize in economics, led by women in heterodox economics.In my opinion, the award delegitimises the political economic causes of poverty. I like this tweet by Sara Stevano:Experiments to alleviate poverty = correct the biases of the poor through narrow interventions and RCTs with huge issues in terms of ethics and research rigour. Seems completely odd at a time when many economists have come to realise we need to rethink the Global economic order!Then a Twitter thread today by Ingrid Kvangraven linking to her article. She points out:This movement towards “thinking small” is a part of a broader trend, which has squeezed out questions related to global economic institutions, trade,

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The economics Nobel Prize was announced on Monday.

Fine Heterodox Critiques Of The 2019 Economic Nobel Prize

There has been a good Twitter debate on the 2019 Nobel prize in economics, led by women in heterodox economics.

In my opinion, the award delegitimises the political economic causes of poverty. I like this tweet by Sara Stevano:

Experiments to alleviate poverty = correct the biases of the poor through narrow interventions and RCTs with huge issues in terms of ethics and research rigour. Seems completely odd at a time when many economists have come to realise we need to rethink the Global economic order!

Then a Twitter thread today by Ingrid Kvangraven linking to her article. She points out:

This movement towards “thinking small” is a part of a broader trend, which has squeezed out questions related to global economic institutions, trade, agricultural, industrial and fiscal policy, and the role of political dynamics, in favor of the best ways to make smaller technical interventions.

Plus another thread by Ingrid from Monday, after the Nobel Prize annoucement which really got everyone’s attention.

A prize to be expected. Banerjee, Duflo & Kremer rely on key tenets of mainstream Econ. While founded on behavioral econ and assumption that tweaks to individual actions can alleviate global poverty, their work is often wrongly presented as purely empirical, objective & radical.

Then an article by Farwa Sial and Carolina Alves (also linked in the thread) which points out:

Poverty alleviation, however, is a hugely complex subject that touches on the strengthening of institutions, the health of governance, the structure and dynamics of markets, the workings of social classes, macroeconomic policies, distribution, international integration and many other issues, none of which can be replicated from one context to another. That means that analyses of poverty have to be based on a critical examination of processes and actors that cannot be ‘controlled’ against—thus violating the principle of RCTs.

Recent developments in economics have failed to account for these fundamental determinants of poverty. Instead, the success of RCTs can be narrowed down to essentially statistical arguments that seek to identify ‘what works’ and ‘which interventions’ should therefore be employed to improve the lives of the poor.

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