La idea de esta nueva sección es compartir con ustedes alguna entrevista realizada por algún científico social a algún colega suyo que este contribuyendo a expandir la frontera del conocimiento. Dado que hace unos días publique un post sobre la literatura de frontera que estudia el rol de las instituciones sobre el desarrollo mediante el uso de estrategias empíricas sofisticadas, el día de hoy empezare compartiendo una entrevista hecha por Brian Snowdon a Daron Acemoglu, ganador de la medalla Bates y candidato de peso al premio Nobel de Economía en el futuro, una de las autoridades mundiales en esta literatura. La entrevista apareció en la edición de abril-junio del 2004 de la revista World Economics, una revista de relativamente difícil acceso. Es bastante largo el texto (49 paginas!), pero vale la pena porque incluye un buen resumen de la literatura hecha por el autor de la entrevista. Disfrútenla!
Explaining the "Great Divergence"
I understand from reading your CV that you were educated at the University of York and the LSE in the UK. What attracted you to study economics? Did anyone or anything in particular inspire your interest?
What inspired me to become an economist is, by a strange coincidence, exactly the same as what I am working on right now. I became interested in politics and economic development, both from an historical perspective and from the point of view of trying to understand what was happening to poor countries around the world. This was when I was a high school student in Turkey. I started to read a lot of historical literature and also the Marxist and dependency school literature. That was very appealing at the time and I was drawn into economics because I wanted to know more. When I first went to York I began to study Politics and Economics because I believed that both disciplines were necessary in order to understand development problems. After about six months or so I found that I was becoming increasingly drawn towards economics. Undergraduate politics can be a lot of fun but I found it a little bit frustrating because there was little sense of what was right and what was wrong. The ideas were more open. That is not a shortcoming per se but at that time I wanted answers.
When my Professors disagreed with my arguments I could not understand why. So I switched to economics. Within economics I was slowly drawn towards the more macro topics like unemployment and growth. But I never lost my interest in development and political economy issues. That was always there in the background. After a while I started revisiting these topics.
Were there any particular economists who influenced you?
There is no one person who has influenced me throughout my career but there have been specific people at certain points in time. Although I found their work difficult at the time, I was influenced by the formal and rigorous approaches of Kenneth Arrow, Gerard Debreu and Paul Samuelson.
Later, when I turned to labour economics and human capital, Gary Becker was a major figure. When I started working on political economy the work of Bob Bates influenced me enormously.
Descargar la entrevista completa aqui