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Imperialism And Competition In Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science And Economics: A Perspective From Development Economics

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  • Ruttan, Vernon W.

Abstract

In work published in the 1980's Yujro Hayami and I elaborated a theory of institutional innovations in which institutional changes are induced, on the demand side, by changes in relative resource endowments and technical change and, on the supply side, by changes in cultural endowments and advances in social science knowledge. In the mid-1980's I initiated a research program to explore what development economists might learn from research by other social scientists working in the field of development. In this paper I draw on this earlier work, and on related literature to explore the conditions under which interdisciplinary imperialism or interdisciplinary collaboration can be most productive. I argue that when the objective of research is to advance fundamental knowledge in the social sciences imperialism can be highly productive. But where multiple sources of knowledge must be drawn on for policy, mechanism, or system design interdisciplinary collaboration is essential.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruttan, Vernon W., 2000. "Imperialism And Competition In Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science And Economics: A Perspective From Development Economics," Bulletins 12978, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:umedbu:12978
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Ruttan, Vernon W, 1988. "Cultural Endowments and Economic Development: What Can We Learn from Anthropology?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(3), pages 247-271, Supplemen.
    4. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, December.
    5. Ruttan, Vernon W, 1991. "What Happened to Political Development?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 265-292, January.
    6. Becker, Gary S, 1993. "Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 385-409, June.
    7. Vernon Ruttan, 1998. "The new growth theory and development economics: A survey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(2), pages 1-26.
    8. John Lodewijks, 1994. "Anthropologists and economists: conflict or cooperation?," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 81-104.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paavola, Jouni & Adger, W. Neil, 2005. "Institutional ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 353-368, May.
    2. John Toye & David Hulme, 2005. "The case for cross-disciplinary social science research on poverty, inequality and well-being," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-001, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Jackson, Cecile, 2002. "Disciplining Gender?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 497-509, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International Development;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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