Discrimination and Bias in Economics, and Emerging Responses

I thought followers of this site would find this post interesting.

Opening the Miami Institute’s economics forum, Jayati Ghosh presents severe and persistent forms of discrimination and power imbalances in economic analyses, and underscores older and newer networks of scholars pushing back against these tendencies. She notes:

In development economics there is an even worse tendency, of treating those in the South as the objects of study and policy action (with its economists often becoming glorified research assistants in international research projects), while “real” knowledge is supposedly created in the North and disseminated outwards…. The recent craze in development economics personified by the “randomistas” exemplifies this. There has been much outcry and disgust about some Randomised Control Trials being conducted (inevitably) on poor people in the developing world, for example those that have involved cutting off water supply to see if that incentivises bill payments, or checking whether poor parents will send only their better performing children to school once they are informed about their results… The rot goes beyond those conducting such studies, to the research funders, the international organisations, the editors of journals and the university teachers who put such studies into their course material, when they would never consent to similar studies of their own behaviour.


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