Showing posts from April, 2018

Is there a spiritual dimension to economic development?

A friend of mine at the World Bank recently forwarded news of a seminar held at the IMF under the title of “Enlightening Economics.” I was not able to attend but saw the Powerpoint presentation and was much encouraged by its contents. It reminded me of a time, perhaps starting sometime in the late 1980s when there was a tangible shift in the development community to recognizing the importance of what Amartya Sen called “soft-headed” concerns, such as the role of safety nets to protect the very poor, issues of equity and income distribution, gender equality and, of course, the environment. While at the IMF we continued to recognize the importance of macroeconomic stability for economic growth we could also sense a growing awareness that it was necessary to create the conditions for so-called “high quality growth,” a term that, at least in theory, explicitly recognized the importance of policies aimed at reducing poverty, improving opportunity, and protecting the environment.