Development, Geography, and Economic Theory

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MIT Press, 1997 - Business & Economics - 117 pages
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Why do certain ideas gain currency in economics while others fall by the wayside?Paul Krugman argues that the unwillingness of mainstream economists to think about what they couldnot formalize led them to ignore ideas that turn out, in retrospect, to have been very goodones.Krugman examines the course of economic geography and development theory to shed light on thenature of economic inquiry. He traces how development theory lost its huge initial influence andvirtually disappeared from economic discourse after it became clear that many of the theory's maininsights could not be clearly modeled. Economic geography seems to have fared even worse, aseconomists shied away from grappling with questions about space -- such as the size, location, oreven existence of cities -- because the "terrain was seen as unsuitable for the tools athand."Krugman's book, however, is not a call to abandon economic modeling. He concludes with areminder of why insisting on the use of models may be right, even when these sometimes leadeconomists to overlook good ideas. He also recaps the discussion of development and economicgeography with a commentary on recent developments in those fields and areas where further inquirylooks most promising.The Ohlin Lectures


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About the author (1997)

Paul Krugman was born on February 28, 1953. He received a B.S. in economics from Yale University in 1974 and a Ph.D from MIT in 1977. From 1982 to 1983, he worked at the Reagan White House as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers. He taught at numerous universities including Yale University, MIT, UC Berkeley, the London School of Economics, and Stanford University before becoming a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University in 2000. He has written over 200 scholarly papers and 20 books including Peddling Prosperity; International Economics: Theory and Policy; The Great Unraveling; and The Conscience of a Liberal. Since 2000, he has written a twice-weekly column for The New York Times. He received the 1991 John Bates Clark Medal and the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. His title End This Depression Now! made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.

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