July 17, 2006

The Role of the Economist in Economic Development

  • Christopher Coyne

    Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Peter J. Boettke

    Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
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This paper is a reconsideration of the role of the economist in economic development. This is necessary, Coyne and Boettke argue, because this role has been obscured. They provide a history of development economics to understand how the economy has arrived at the current situation. The authors then argue that the development establishment has overlooked the importance of indigenous institutions in achieving economic progress. To remedy this, Coyne and Boettke apply Mises' regression theorem to understand indigenous institutions. Included in this discussion is a framework for understanding why the current view of the economist in this area persists.

Read the article at the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.