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Republics of KnowledgeNations of the Future in Latin America$
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Nicola Miller

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176758

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176758.001.0001

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Not the ‘Dismal Science’ but the ‘Lifeless’ One

Not the ‘Dismal Science’ but the ‘Lifeless’ One

Critiques of Classical Political Economy in Latin America

(p.164) 8 Not the ‘Dismal Science’ but the ‘Lifeless’ One
Republics of Knowledge

Nicola Miller

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at how development economics was pioneered at the United Nations, which founded the Economic Commission for Latin America in Santiago de Chile. It cites Argentine Raúl Prebisch and other economists from across the region who built on his argument that the terms of trade for primary products in Argentina were bound to decline as technological advance accelerated. It also discusses the raft of policies stemming from the theory of structuralism that promote industrialisation and reduce reliance on imports in the developing world. The chapter elaborates on the fundamental ideas of the Economic Commission for Latin America in Santiago de Chile that remained influential on the dependency school, the world system theorists, and the policy-making of the New Left. It questions the assumption that classical political economy was hegemonic in Latin America from independence until the Second World War.

Keywords:   development economics, United Nations, structuralism, technological advance, industrialisation, classical political economy, industrialisation

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