måndag 14 april 2008

Rodrik om governance och utvecklingsekonomins utveckling

Dani Rodrik, professor vid Harvard, är en av mina favoritekonomer och en av mina favoritskribenter över huvud taget - inte minst är den av honom redigerade antologin In search of prosperity: Analytical narratives on economic growth (Princeton University Press, 2003) helt fantastiskt bra - och han bloggar också. Senast skriver han intressant om utvecklingsdiskursens utveckling efter Washington Consensus mot ett mer institutionalistiskt förhållningssätt. Det är en del av hans anförande vid en konferens med Världsbanken, och väldigt intressant. Något för Sveriges alla Washington Consensus-kritiker!

"A deep insight that has emerged out of the disappointments of the Washington Consensus is that successful policy reform is at its core governance reform. Reforms in the areas of, say, trade or fiscal policy require much more than just cuts in tariffs and a balancing of the budget. If you want to achieve lasting change and have a real impact on the behavior of those agents that determine the success of reform, you must change the “rules of the game”—the manner in which trade policy is made or fiscal policy is conducted. This insight, assisted and reinforced by the academic literature on institutions and growth, has in turn produced a new development agenda focusing on a broad list of governance reforms. These reforms target a lengthy list of objectives, including reducing corruption, improving the rule of law, increasing the accountability and effectiveness of public institutions, and enhancing access and voice of the citizenry. The agenda is neatly captured and quantified by the Kaufmann-Kraay Governance Indicators data set.

Much of this is for the good. In particular, the tilt towards governance has the virtue that it helps shift the focus of reforms towards objectives that are desirable end-goals in and of themselves. The items on the original Washington Consensus agenda were all of instrumental value at best. Playing around with tariff and tax schedules and with the composition of public expenditure is worthwhile only to the extent that it achieves other objectives we really care about: increased growth, reduced poverty, improved equity."


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