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Toward a unified theory of economic development

Toward a unified theory of economic development

Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics 37: 3-31

There are two possible reasons for the less than optimal planning of economic development: the Marxian conspiracy argument suggests that any development efforts have a hidden agenda of continued exploitation and poverty; the ignorance argument has it that organizations, governments and advisers mean well but lack the proper conceptual framework and/or database. Rather than deciding on the relative merits of these two arguments, this paper proposes steps towards alleviating ignorance as a reason for maldevelopment. It maintains that, even if it is not a sufficient condition, a unified theory of economic development seems a necessary precondition for wise and efficient development planning and a unified world. The paper has two specific purposes. The first is to suggest the feasibility of a unified theory of economic development. Secondly, it suggests that theoretical and ideological acrimony among proponents of various development models is a waste of time and energy, because any theory is potentially the most appropriate under well-specified special cases.

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Accession: 018187628

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