26 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2010
Date Written: January 30, 2010
I discuss the role of economic theory in empirical work in development economics with special emphasis on general equilibrium and political economy considerations. I argue that economic theory plays (should play) a central role in formulating models, estimates of which can be used for counterfactual and policy analysis. I discuss why counterfactual analysis based on microdata that ignores general equilibrium and political economy issues may lead to misleading conclusions. I illustrate the main arguments using examples from recent work in development economics and political economy.
Keywords: economic development, economic theory, methodology of economics, political
JEL Classification: O10, O12, B41, D50, P48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Acemoglu, Daron, Theory, General Equilibrium and Political Economy in Development Economics (January 30, 2010). MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 10-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1593824 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1593824