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The programme builds on the experience of the successful Cambridge Advance Programme on Rethinking Development Economics (CAPORDE), which was held in Cambridge, UK, from 2002 to 2008.

Background

In the wake of the  deepest economic crisis in the past 80 years, the  reputation  of orthodox economics has taken a beating. The profession is now suffering from guilt and rancour. In a recent lecture, Paul Krugman, winner of the Nobel prize in economics in 2008, argued that much of the past 30 years of macroeconomics was “spectacularly useless at best, and positively harmful at worst.” Barry Eichengreen, a prominent American economic historian, also highlighted that the crisis has “cast into doubt much of what we thought we knew about economics”.

Even if there is an increasing demand for alternative approaches to economic theory, the supply is not responding accordingly. The older generation of development economists of the 1960s and 1970s vintage have been, over the last few decades, edged out of most major universities in international centers of academic excellence, especially in the US.

The situation in most developing countries is even worse. While in these countries there may be more demand for alternatives to orthodox development economics, these countries have lacked the capability to generate such alternatives. Due to, among other things, resource constraints, researchers and students from developing countries tend to rely on a small number of standard textbooks and publications from multilateral financial institutions, which severely restricts their exposure to alternative approaches.

The Programme

The programme intends to fill this important intellectual gap. It gives a selected group of young academics whose research interest is in economic development and Latin America, in particular, an opportunity to gain exposure to frontier research undertaken from critical perspectives on key issues in development and macroeconomics. The teaching are conducted through lectures and discussions provided by some of the world’s leading academics in relevant fields.

 

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