Development Economics : A Critical Introduction book cover
1st Edition

Development Economics
A Critical Introduction

ISBN 9780415787369
Published November 1, 2019 by Routledge
418 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Following the 2007–2009 financial and economic crises, there has been an unprecedented demand among economics students for an alternative approach, which offers a historical, institutional and multidisciplinary treatment of the discipline. Economic development lends itself ideally to meet this demand, yet most undergraduate textbooks do not reflect this.

This book will fill this gap, presenting all the core material needed to teach development economics in a one semester course, while also addressing the need for a new economics and offering flexibility to instructors. Rather than taking the typical approach of organizing by topic, the book uses theories and debates to guide its structure. This will allow students to see different perspectives on key development questions, and therefore to understand more fully the contested nature of many key areas of development economics.

The book can be used as a standalone textbook on development economics, or to accompany a more traditional text.

Table of Contents

Part I: Background

1: Introduction

2: Data and its uses in development economics

3: Commonalities and differences in low and low middle income countries

4: Poverty, inequality and some proposed solutions

Part II: Key approaches to economic development and the middle income trap

5: Classical and radical antecedents of development economics

6: Developmentalists and developmentalism

7: Neo-Marxism, structuralism and dependency theory

8: Neoliberalism and its critics

9: New developmentalism: industrial policy, policy space, and premature deindustrialization debates

10: Is there a middle income trap?

Part III: How key approaches play into some key debates

11: Debates on foreign aid

12: Debates on foreign direct investment

13: Debates on agriculture/sustainable agriculture

14: Debates on technology and addressing environmental problems/green industrial policy

Part IV: Conclusion

15: Catch-up growth: finding a trigger


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Shahrukh Rafi Khan is currently Research Associate at Mount Holyoke College, USA. He formerly served as executive director of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Islamabad.  He has also formerly taught at the University of Utah and Vassar College and served as Copeland Fellow at Amherst College. He has published extensively in refereed journals and authored and edited numerous books. He has twice won The Akhtar Hameed Khan book prize and engaged in academic consulting for several international organizations.


"The book offers a very easy and good read for beginners and the seminary questions at the end of each chapter represent a useful tool for academic tutors at university level."

- Mohammad Alsaghir, Markfield Institute of Higher Education, UK

"Dr. Shahrukh Khan's new textbook is a fantastic book for teachers and students trying to get into the field of development economics. [...] What sets this work apart is the centrality it places on covering all of the diversity in the field of development economics. From neo-Marxists to neo-liberals and everything in between, the book honors and critiques the value of each approach to understanding development. The book is easily read, engaging, and perfect for anyone looking to teach an intro to development class."

- Sidney Michelini, New Books in Economics Podcast on the New Books Network (