Angus Deaton om universalisering, fattigdom och ekonomisk politik

before you need a theory of policy change you need a theory of transportability. Meaning, it works here, what arguments do you have that it works there? And it often seems that those running RCTs simply assume that these numbers will apply with little discussion of how to move the results from one location to another.

Angus Deaton

I samma intervju svarar han även detta på frågan om han tycker det verkar finnas några intressanta framgångar i upphävandet av fattigdomen i världen.

I know what I think which is that we should be thinking much more about politics than about micro-detailed studies. So I’m basically in the same boat as Daron Acemoglu and Jim Robinson.[viii] I think, to a first approximation, it really is all about politics. And as I say in my book, I think aid is making it worse, not better.[ix] It’s fine to say we discovered this marvelous new delivery system and here’s how you should deliver aid. And it might make things better locally. You might save lives, you might get people educated but you’re not going to abolish world poverty because that has to do with politics, it’s not to do with money. Certainly knowledge can help, but once again it’s a question of transportable knowledge. There’s got to be some theory of how you can take it from one place to another and that requires theory and generalizations and structural models of some sort.

(min kursivering)

Så vi kanske även borde döpa om nationalekonomin till det den en gång kallades, tydligen inte på svenska men i engelskan, för att klargöra den politiska naturen i ekonomin.

So let’s call what it is, political economy! In the 18th and 19th century, you know, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, they never wrote anything on economics, they were writing on political economy. People used to be more honest in the past. They didn’t have a Ministry of Defence, they had a Ministry of War – because that was what it did…

Ha-Joon Chang



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