Economics of Development

Theory and Evidence, ninth edition

by A.P. Thirlwall
Tony Thirlwall

A personal message from the author

The economic and social development of poor countries, and reducing divisions in the world economy between rich are poor, are two of the greatest challenges facing mankind. Vast differences in income and wealth between countries and peoples are not only morally indefensible but also a grave threat to peace and stability in the world.

The great English economist John Maynard Keynes once described what drew him to economics; it was, he said, ‘its intellectual rigour combined with its potentiality for good’. He treated the subject of economics as a moral science, the purpose of which is to understand economic behaviour and thereby to be able to design policies to make the world a more civilized place in which to live. It is this ‘potentiality for good’ that attracts to development economics so many of today’s top economists.

I have written this textbook on the economics of development so that students can apply their knowledge of economics to the plight of poor countries in the hope that they will better understand the divided world in which we live and think about issues of development in whatever capacity they may subsequently work.

I have been teaching development economics for over forty years and have encountered thousands of students in different parts of the world and from different countries, many of whom have gone on to work in the development field – as employees in international institutions and non-governmental organizations concerned with economic and social development, or as teachers and researchers in poor countries. If new generations of students studying development economics are inspired to do the same, this volume will have achieved its purpose.

I hope you will enjoy the book, and that when you reach the end you will feel that the study of the economics of development has enriched your experience as an economist and citizen of the world.

Wherever you live, I wish you good luck in your studies.

Tony Thirlwall