Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Peter Bauer: Blazing the Trail of Development


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Peter Bauer was a pioneer in development economics and his contributions to the field have been vindicated by the collapse of central planning. Through most of his career, however, Bauer was marginalized by the economics profession. Even after the fall of the Berlin Wall, economists frequently neglect Bauer’s work. Two survey articles on trade and development by Anne Krueger are presented as examples of that neglect. Bauer’s emphasis on choice, his interdisciplinary methodology, and his criticism of excessive reliance on formal analysis may help explain the neglect of Bauer even among those who arrive at the same insights and general policy prescriptions.