Facts and Values Are Entangled: Deal with It

Are there more poor people on our planet today than there were last year? Many economists would approach this question as mainly a technical problem, a matter of counting. Sanjay Reddy did, too, but soon recognized that a sound answer required making normative criteria explicit. Much confusion and many technical muddles in poverty measurement can be avoided, Reddy says, only if we become conscious and deliberate about how values enter the analysis. Fact and value are entangled, and Reddy shows how recognizing this leads to greater analytical clarity — this is new economic thinking.

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