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A Paradigm Shift that Never Was: Justin Lin’s New Structural Economics

Fine , Ben and Van Waeyenberge, Elisa (2013) 'A Paradigm Shift that Never Was: Justin Lin’s New Structural Economics.' Competition and Change, 17 (4). pp. 355-71.

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Abstract

This paper assesses the attempt by Justin Lin, former Chief Economist of the World Bank, to posit a new development paradigm through his New Structural Economics, NSE. Lin’s attempt to redefine development econom- ics deserves scrutiny for at least two reasons. First, he launched his frame- work when he was Chief Economist at the Bank. Critical scrutiny of his proposition then allows for continued insights into the complex relationship between scholarship and policy at the Bank. Second, Lin’s framework claims a return to a ‘structural’ understanding of development, with a strong indus- trial policy rhetoric emanating from it. This has been greeted with consider- able enthusiasm by erstwhile critics of the Bank. Closer scrutiny of the NSE, nevertheless, reveals the flawed nature of its core theoretical notion of com- parative advantage and exposes its strong, if unfortunately conservative, commitment to a flawed and incoherently applied neoclassical economics, accompanied by a persistently narrow policy scope.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: World Bank, New Structural Economics, Knowledge Bank, Development Economics, Development Policy, Industrial Policy
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
ISSN: 10245294
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1179/10245294
Depositing User: Elisa Van Waeyenberge
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2013 11:14
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/17059

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