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A Twenty-First Century Assessment of Values Across the Global Workforce

Springer Netherlands
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  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Social Sciences


EMERALD_AJEMS_AJEMS556583 2..8 EDITORIAL Economic growth and poverty alleviation in Africa – linking hard and soft economics John Kuada Department of Business Studies, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this editorial is to provide a quick glance at the dominant issues that have characterized the developing economics debate during the past five decades. It seeks to offer a backdrop for the papers in the present volume of AJEMS. Design/methodology/approach – It is based on a review of a selection of literature that highlights the dominant perspectives in development economics. Findings – It draws a distinction between soft and hard economics, arguing that economic growth must be converted into social change that benefits poor for it to be described as development-oriented. Originality/value – It provides a direction for future research into issues of economic growth and poverty alleviation in Sub-Sahara Africa. Keywords Poverty, Economic growth Paper type Research paper Introduction What is the nature and causes of economic progress and how is economic growth linked to poverty alleviation? These are some of the basic questions that leading economists have propounded theories and models to address during the last two and half centuries. Broadly speaking, the theories and models (as well as economic policies based on them) have been rooted in two contrasting paradigms. One is the neoclassical economic paradigm that gives support to the notion that economic systems can be likened to machines that transform inputs into outputs. The key drivers of economic progress are, therefore, symbolically described as “engines of growth”. I find it expositionally appropriate to label this perspective as hard economics. The other paradigm sees economic decisions as social and political constructions that accommodate the intangible needs, expectations and behaviours of communities of people. It also emphasizes human capability development (including human capital)

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