Essays in Honor of Keith B. Griffin
Edited by James K. Boyce, Stephen Cullenberg, Prasanta K. Pattanaik and Robert Pollin
James K. Boyce, Stephen Cullenberg, Prasanta K. Pattanaik and Robert Pollin This volume honors Keith Griffin’s more than 40 years of fundamental contributions to the discipline of economics. It is fitting, therefore, that each of the chapters in the volume reflects the influence of Griffin’s own pathbreaking work, the hallmarks of which are a deep commitment to advancing the well-being of the world’s poor majority, and an unflinching willingness to question conventional wisdom as to how this ought to be done. Four overarching themes recur in both Keith Griffin’s work and this volume. The first is the need not only to eradicate poverty but also to redress inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth within and among nations. The second is the impact of growth on inequality, and conversely of inequality on growth. The third is the political economy of policy-making – recognizing that policies are the result of contests amongst competing individuals, groups and classes, rather than an outcome of dispassionate optimization by technocrats insulated from political processes. The final theme is heterogeneity and its implications for development strategies. Inequality and Poverty Long before it became fashionable to do so, Keith Griffin took poverty reduction to be the central objective of development. In the mid-1960s this normative stance was itself a radical departure from the prevailing view that economic growth was the overriding goal. But Griffin went further, insisting that poverty cannot be divorced from inequality. Hence the terms ‘poverty’ and ‘inequality’ are often paired in his writings, as...