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March 2021

The Missing Voices of Development Economics by Arvind Subramanian & Devesh Kapur

By Development economics No Comments

Development economics focuses on improving the well-being of billions of people in low-income countries, but southern countries are seriously under-represented in this area. A small number of institutions in rich countries dominate, and their increasing use of randomized controlled trials in research reinforces the imbalance.

NEW DELHI – The lack of representation of marginalized groups in the corridors of power – political, financial and cultural – is a growing source of global concern. Knowledge confers power, so who creates it matters. As Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Samuelson said, “I don’t care who drafts a nation’s laws … if I can write its textbooks.”

Development economics focuses on improving the well-being of billions of people in low-income countries, but southern countries are seriously under-represented in this area. Unfortunately, a small number of institutions in rich countries have appropriated it, with serious consequences. And the problem seems to be getting worse.

Take into account Development economics journal, a leading outlet for research articles in the field. Neither the journal’s editor nor any of its ten co-editors are based in a developing country. Only two of its 69 associate editors are, Africa and Asia being totally unrepresented.

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