In the conventional discourse on macroeconomics, the subject of human development is at best marginal and at worst irrelevant. In the unconventional discourse on human development, macroeconomics or its constraints are seldom recognised, even if its consequences are often highlighted. There are, however, intersections and interconnections, which provide the rationale for this book that seeks to map some broad contours of an unexplored, yet important, domain. Macroeconomics is important for human development because it determines levels of employment, the degree of social protection and the public provision of services such as healthcare or education. Human development has implications and consequences for macroeconomics, for it can mobilize or claim resources to enlarge or diminish space for macroeconomic policies. The relationship exists, and matters, not only in poor countries but also in wealthy ones.
Employment, even if neglected, provides the critical link. This book shows that causation runs in both directions and can be either positive or negative. It reveals similarities and differences between developing countries and industrialised countries. The political context is significant everywhere as interests, ideology and institutions influence economic policies in both spheres to shape outcomes.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities.