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date: 20 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines some of the key elements of the knowledge accumulated in the field of development economics. It begins by challenging the dominant paradigms of development thinking, from a fundamental, philosophical perspective. To this end, the chapter uses the experiences of Ghana and other African and developing countries as examples to illustrate the analytical sins committed by development economists. It argues that the failures of those countries in terms of economic development is primarily due to the pervasiveness of bad ideas, which translate into bad advice by influential economists—those in the position to shape or influence policy making. Two major strategic mistakes of development economics are highlighted: first, the wrong model economy and reference and second, the wrong assumptions and preconditions. The chapter concludes with key recommendations for a more appropriate approach aimed at enriching and strengthening development thinking.

Keywords: development economics, Ghana, Africa, developing countries, economic development, policy making

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