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Development Economics on Trial

Development Economics on Trial
The Anthropological Case for a Prosecution

  • Date Published: August 1986
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521310963

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About the Authors
  • Polly Hill's provocative book examines the disastrous gulf that separates development economics from its sister discipline, economic anthropology. Working with material from the rural tropical world, much of it collected at first hand in West Africa and South India, Dr Hill demonstrates in the first, polemical part of her book, how unreliable and western-biased assumptions most development economists base their theoretical work. She shows in particular that misleading official statistics are handled uncritically, that the significance of innate rural inequality is consistently ignored and the revered concepts such as the 'population explosion' are in anthropological terms largely meaningless. The longer, second part of the book illustrates the enormous relevance and potential of economic anthropology for economists by looking in turn at the true complexity of farming households, labour and inheritance; at debt, social stratification and economic inequality, and at problems connected with the sale of land, the role of women and migration. Taken overall, Development Economics on Trial represents a powerful and urgent plea for co-operation.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 1986
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521310963
    • length: 216 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.28kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments
    Preface
    Preamble
    Appendix
    1. Why country people are not peasants
    2. The vain search for universal generalizations: the relevance of economic inequality
    3. The vain search for universal generalizations: The poor quality of official statistics
    4. The vain search for universal generalizations: historicist fallacies
    5. Pause: how can the impasse be resolved?
    6. The logical necessity for economic inequality within rural communities
    7. The farming household: its defects as a statistical unit
    8. The need to be indebted
    9. The flexibility of inheritance systems
    10. The neglect of farm-labouring systems
    11. Misconceptions about migration
    12. The neglect of women
    13. The sale of farmland
    14. Rural class stratification? Postscript
    Glossary and place names
    References
    Index.

  • Author

    Polly Hill, Clare College, Cambridge

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