The Role of the Economist in Economic Development

The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2006

22 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2010

See all articles by Christopher J. Coyne

Christopher J. Coyne

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

The issue of economic development has been at the center of economics from its beginnings. Adam Smith, writing in 1776, attempted to determine the factors that led to the wealth of nations. He concluded that low taxes, peace and a workable system of justice would lead to economic growth (Smith 1776, p. 43). Robert Lucas, discussing the economic development of India more than two centuries later wrote: “The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else” (Lucas 1988, p. 5). Clearly, economic development is still a central issue in modern economics. However, the economic development establishment has changed greatly since the time of Smith.

As this field has evolved, one critical question has been overlooked: where is the economist in all this? In other words, what role is the economist to play in understanding and contributing to economic development? This question is rarely, if ever, considered.

JEL Classification: B53, O20

Suggested Citation

Coyne, Christopher J. and Boettke, Peter J., The Role of the Economist in Economic Development (2006). The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1538583

Christopher J. Coyne

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Fairfax, VA 22030
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HOME PAGE: http://www.ccoyne.com/

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ppe.mercatus.org/scholars/christopher-coyne

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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