Oct 3, 2015

Tyler's conversation with Dani Rodrik

This is the video of Tyler's conversation with Dani Rodrik:

A few points:

  1. Tyler's conversations are excellent.
  2. I was not convinced by the "fundamental" difference between agriculture and manufacturing as Rodrik put it.
  3. Even though Tyler pushed the issue of culture, Rodrik does not see it as an important explanation for economic development generally, and for adoption of manufacturing in particular. (Sachs is not persuaded about culture either, but Zingales is).
  4. About Vietnam: Rodrik: "I think you see the same about why is it that Vietnam has developed in the way that it has after it opened up its economy. I think if Vietnam was located in Latin America or Central America, I don’t think it would have been half the miracle that it was." Hard to make something with this statement. If Vietnam were in Central America it would not be Vietnam any more. In any case, does it imply that if Guatemala were in South East Asia, it would be an economic miracle given an opening of its economy? 
  5. What should change in graduate school education in economics? Both, Rodrik and Sachs shared deep concerns about the use of math for its own sake in the profession. Sachs recommended a new approach in the method of development economics, as I understood it, something akin to what anthropologists do. Rodrik indicated that spending a year in a developing country would help a lot to think abut a relevant research agenda. I agree with both . . . I would add more years to the economic development experience. The basic message is to get closer to real world problems. 

Hay tres puntos fundamentales, me parece, en esta entrevista que Tyler Cowen le hace a Dani Rodrik:
  1. La economia de países como Turquia no se han modernizado porque enfrentan dos limitantes principales, una de estructura y otra de agencia. Esto significa que existen condiciones iniciales (las interpreto como históricas, geográficas, etc). La otra es agencia, es decir el liderazgo que puede promover reformas exitosas y otras fallidas. 
  2. La educación económica, principalmente a nivel de postgrado debe redefinirse en el sentido que es deseable una aproximación del estudiante a problemas reales. La matematización de la economía per-se puede distraer el cometido principal del economista, que es resolver, o contribuir a resolver problemas sociales urgentes. 
  3. Rodrik parece poner mas peso a restricciones políticas y estructurales de la economía, y no tanto al factor cultura. 
La transcripción de la entrevista, en ingles, esta aquí.

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