The Importance of Being Defunct (Presidential Address)

Syed Nawab Haider Naqvi


For development economists these arc the days of great
expectations. Development economics as a discipline, born only three
decades ago, has come to stay, notwithstanding the threats to its
existence issued openly by such friends as Schultz [63], Bauer [2],
Little [44], and Lal [39]. New theoretical constructs have been devised
and novel empirical studies done to comprehend better the forces of
change in developing countries. While of late there may not have been
great festivity in the realm of ideas, the force of circumstances has
widened the problem canvas of development economics and has opened up
new vistas for economists to explore- much beyond the expectations of
its founding fathers. Also notwithstanding the great diversity in the
experience of individual countries, development economists may
legitimately draw some comfort from the thought that their ideas have
changed the developing world for the better.

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