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Christopher Robert DOUGHERTY


Christopher Robert DOUGHERTY, economist in the field of Economic Planning Theory and Policy; Manpower Training and Allocation; Labour Force and Supply.


DOUGHERTY, Christopher Robert was born in 1943 in Leeds, W. Yorkshire, England.


Bachelor of Arts University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1965. Doctor of Philosophy University Harvard, 1972.


Consultant, Economics Education and Manpower, Harvard University Development Advisory Service, National Planning Department, Bogota, Colombia, 1967-1968. Research Fellow, King’s College Cambridge, 1968-1972. Senior Lector Economics, London School of Economies and Political Science, London, United Kingdom, London, England, since 1972.


My interest in manpower development planning dates from the time that I was given that assignment as a junior member of the Harvard Development Advisory Service group attached to the Colombian National Planning Department. The manpower requirements approach was the dominant planning methodology but its assumptions had begun to be questioned, notably by Robinson Hollister. My early papers were directed to providing further empirical evidence of their implausibility and to developing rate-of-return analysis as an alternative approach for educational planning.

The latter led to close associations with George Psacharopoulos and Marcelo Selowsky. When I returned to Cambridge as a Research Fellow the capital theory controversy was at its height. It seemed to me at the time (and it still does) that much of the controversy was attributable to a wilful misrepresentation of the neoclassical position by some of its opponents. My paper on the rate of return was a response to the bizarre charge that the Fisherian approach to the determination of the rate of profit was logically defective.

The book attempting to sort out the positions of the different camps absorbed rather too much time over the following years. In 19801 returned to manpower development planning after a gap of ten years. A consultancy for the International Labour Office in that year gave me new field experience and made me realise that the problems of planning manpower development were deeper than I had previously thought. It made me aware that training needs assessment was only one function of a national planning unit, others being the promotion of administrative efficiency within the manpower development sector, monitoring labour and training markets, and the promotion of cost-effectiveness in the use of resources in a more general sense than that adopted in rate* of-retum analysis.

In recent consultancy work with the World Bank and the International Labour Office I have been advocating an approach which is managerial, rather than strictly economic, and which focusses on adaptive processes rather than the blueprint approach to planning.