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Women’s empowerment and economic development: a feminist critique of story telling practices in ‘Randomista' economics

Kabeer, Naila ORCID: 0000-0001-7769-9540 (2020) Women’s empowerment and economic development: a feminist critique of story telling practices in ‘Randomista' economics. Feminist Economics, 26 (2). 1 - 26. ISSN 1354-5701

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13545701.2020.1743338

Abstract

The 2019 Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to three scholars on the grounds that their pioneering use of randomized control trials (RCTs) was innovative methodologically and contributed to development policy and the emergence of a new development economics. Using a critical feminist lens, this article challenges that conclusion by interrogating the storytelling practices deployed by “randomista” economists through a critical reading of a widely cited essay by Esther Duflo, one of the 2019 Nobel recipients, on the relationship between women’s empowerment and economic development. The paper argues that the limitations of randomista economics have given rise to a particular way of thinking characterized by piecemeal analysis, ad hoc resort to theory, indifference to history and context, and methodological fundamentalism. It concludes that the randomista argument that broad-based economic development alone – without focused attention to women’s rights – will lead to gender equality has not been borne out by recent data.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rfec20/current
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J0 - General > J01 - Labor Economics: General
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2020 13:18
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 13:06
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/103880

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