Politics and Economics – Economic Research Forum’s 17th Annual Conference

At graduate school, admittedly a few decades ago, conventional wisdom had it that economics was about offering policymakers welfare-improving options – the political process and political regimes were a given. However, as time went by, it became increasingly apparent that politics shape policies; hence development outcomes and their distribution. Economic power matters, but by now it is evident that the development process is as much—if not more—about politics as about economics.

If you do not believe me ask Jim Robinson.

Accordingly, when potential themes for this year’s annual conference were being mulled over a year ago, “Politics and Economic Development” kept emerging a clear winner. At that time, we believed that the political landscape in our region would change eventually, but little did any ne realize that an avalanche of change would come so soon, and as dramatically as it did.

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