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Where are the poor in International Economics?

  • Luis Carvalho

    ()

    (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

  • Aurora A.C. Teixeira

    ()

    (CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto; INESC Porto; OBEGEF)

Despite the fact that a very significant proportion of the human population is living with financial difficulties and other constraints typical of poverty, scientific studies in the areas of Economics and especially in International Economics that address the issue of poverty and of poor countries are very few. Using bibliometric techniques, we measured the attention paid by authors from the field of International Economics to poverty and poor countries. To this end, we sorted and analyzed all articles published in the most important journal in the field, the Journal of International Economics (JIE) over the last forty years. Evidence shows that the authors who have published articles in the JIE have mostly developed studies focused on ‘Meso (industry, region) and microeconomic policies and issues of ‘International Trade’ and ‘International Finances’, and are usually of the ‘Formal’ and ‘Formal and Empirical’ types, where the topic ‘Poverty’ is very marginal (only 13 articles published in the JIE, less than 1% of the total, address this matter in any of its dimensions). Furthermore, in the more empirical articles, no country among those included in the group ‘Less Developed Countries’ deserved particular attention. The neglect of poverty and of the poor contrasts (and is related to) with the significant weight of articles that make use of formalization (more than 80%). Despite the trend for a decrease in exclusively ‘Formal’ articles, without any applied/empirical component, the (still) excessive focus on ‘mathematical’ accuracy (i.e., formalization), and the concomitant limited capacity to deal with the (social) problems of the real world, is an effective challenge to authors in the field of international economics and, in particular, to those who publish in the JIE, which must be overcome if we do not want international economics to become a “cyborg” science.

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Paper provided by Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto in its series FEP Working Papers with number 425.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:por:fepwps:425
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