Fallacy of Taking Development to the People

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL AND RESOURCE ECONOMICS AND POLICY
DIVISION OF AGRICULTURAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY

Working Paper No. 887

FALLACIES IN DEVELOPMENT THEORY
AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY by Irma Adelman

Copyright © 1999 by Irma Adelman. All rights reserved. Readers may make verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial purposes by any means, provided that this copyright notice appears on all such copies.

California Agricultural Experiment Station
Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics
May, 1999

FALLACIES IN DEVELOPMENT THEORY AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR
POLICY.
by Irma Adelman
I. Introduction
No area of economics has experienced as many abrupt changes in leading paradigm during the post Word War II era as has economic development. Since economic development is a policy science, the twists and turns in development economics have had profound implications for development policy. Specifically, the dominant development model has determined policy prescriptions concerning the desirable: role of government in the economy; its degree of interventionism; the form interventionism; and the nature of government-market interactions.
Changes in both theory and policy prescriptions arise mainly from the following five sources: First, there is learning. As our empirical and theoretical knowledge-base enlarges, new theoretical propositions, or new evidence concerning either resounding real-world successes or conspicuous real world failures, become apparent. These feed into new theoretical or empirical paradigms. Second, there are changes in ideology. As different power-elites ascend and wane, their ideologies ascend and wane with them.
New ideologies provide new prisms through which to view both old theories and old policy prescriptions. When they are inconsistent with new…...

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