Development, Geography, and Economic Theory

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Overview

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 could not formalize led them to ignore ideas that turn out, in retrospect, to have been very good ones.Krugman examines the course of economic geography and development theory to shed light on the nature of economic inquiry. He traces how development theory lost its huge initial influence and virtually disappeared from economic discourse after it became clear that many of the theory's main insights could not be clearly modeled. Economic geography seems to have fared even worse, as economists shied away from grappling with questions about space -- such as the size, location, or even existence of cities -- because the "terrain was seen as unsuitable for the tools at hand."Krugman's book, however, is not a call to abandon economic modeling. He concludes with a reminder of why insisting on the use of models may be right, even when these sometimes lead economists to overlook good ideas. He also recaps the discussion of development and economic geography with a commentary on recent developments in those fields and areas where further inquiry looks most promising.The Ohlin Lectures

The MIT Press

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Consists of heavily revised versions of three lectures the author (economics, Stanford U.) delivered at the Stockholm School of Economics in 1992, concerning the fall and rise of development economics, the problems of economic geography, and models and metaphors. 5.5x8". Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262611350
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1997
  • Series: Ohlin Lectures
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 127
  • Sales rank: 1,377,562
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Krugman
Paul Krugman is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University and a
New York Times columnist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in
2008.
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