ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Approaches to Development

The Economic Advisor, from Volume XIII, No's 27, 28 and 29, July 1961.

The economic adviser is a recent institution. It is just in the post-war period that economists have been coming out in increasing numbers in the role of professional and paid advisers to governments… The task of the Economic Adviser is a dif-ficult one and calls for the highest effort that a social scientist is capable of. No doubt he has to be a good economic theorist and must possess the “necessary technical equipment” to know the possible inter-relations between economic forces. ...Theory, however has to be supplemented by judgment and intuition...Your economist must have that ‘amalgam of logic and intui-tion’ which Keynes speaks of as essential “for economic interpretation in its highest form”. …In a country like India, for example, the Economic Adviser will be well-advised to take occasional trips to villages where the majority of his countrymen live — to have a direct acquaintance with these men on whose thoughts and motivations the success of a policy measure so largely depends. Above all our Economic Adviser must have a disinterested personality... For nothing is more inimical to social stability than corruption of any kind on the part of the policymaker. Adam Smith warned his government against relying in matters of economic policy on the advice of the capitalist class on the ground that their interest is anti-social and they are apt to mislead the policymaker…The same warning seems to apply to the middle class today, and your economic adviser is generally recruited from this class…

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