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Let’s be practical

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Let’s be practical

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Economists in Barbados and the Caribbean need to produce research which guides policymakers and educates the general public.
This suggestion has come from Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr DeLisle Worrell who said there was a need even in the wider world for “economics that people can understand”.
“As economists we all need to do research of a more technical and academic kind but it should always be in search of insights that we can incorporate into practical guidance for policy,” he said.
Worrell was speaking last Tuesday at the Radisson Aquatica Resort during the opening of the bank’s 33rd annual review seminar.
The three day event was held under the theme Diversification, Investment And Sustainable Growth: Strategies For The Small Open Economy.
Worrell said academic research had to be in depth and grounded in Caribbean realities.
“If I have a criticism of much of economic research in the Caribbean nowadays it is that is too derivative; an unthinking application of imported theories and methodologies to Caribbean data, often accompanied by econometric pyrotechnics which anyone with mathematical training can very easily see through.
“At the end of the day this kind of research leaves the policymaker with little guidance and the general public puzzled and apprehensive,” he said.
Worrell told fellow economists that practical and relevant research required an understanding of the theory, careful observation of Caribbean experience and economic behaviour and painstaking analysis of the data.
“You also need to read widely on the topic and set aside time for thoughtful reflection as you proceed with the research.
“The reward will be genuine insight and useful contributions to our understanding of how our economies work,” he said. (NB)