… is from page 113 of Deepak Lal’s 2013 book, Poverty and Progress :
One of the abiding failings of “development economics” has been its fascination with theoretical curiosa and the dirigiste policy conclusions that can be drawn from them.
DBx: Indeed so. And, unfortunately, development economics isn’t the only venue in which such a fascination is in play. Every other branch of economics is infected, to one degree or another, with this dangerous fascination. One of the branches that I know best, antitrust economics, has long been the playground of academics who – impressed with their abilities to conjure hypotheticals and then to model those hypotheticals using geometry, mathematics, or game theory – eagerly call upon the state to deploy force in order to recreate real-world markets in the image of their whiteboard models.