What are the roles of an economist in the nation's development?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the answer that you posted to your own question, you say that economists “are the summary of the year’s financial business done by a country.”  This is not a good definition of economists or of the role economists play in a country’s development.  The “summary of the year’s financial business done by a country” might be a way to define gross domestic product.  That is an indicator of how the country’s economy did in a given year. But GDP itself only tells us how rich the country’s economy is.  It does not play any role in actually causing development.

Economists can play at least two roles in country’s development.  First, economists can help to measure the country’s development or lack thereof. They have the skills needed to understand how to measure economic production.  Without economists, it is very hard to know whether the country’s economy is weak or strong, growing or shrinking.  Second, economists may be able to suggest ways to help the country’s economy develop.  Economists are supposed to know the best ways to help a country’s economy grow.  They are supposed to have ideas about fiscal and monetary policy and about which sectors of the economy a country should be focusing on. This knowledge gives them a greater ability to help guide a country’s economy.

Economists, then, can play two roles in a country’s development.  They can measure the development to help government leaders understand how the country is doing and they can offer advice as to the best ways to increase development.

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