This article investigates Celso Furtado's role in the broad controversy between structuralists and monetarists about inflation and stabilization that took place in Latin America between the mid-1950s and early 1960s. Furtado was the first to relate Latin American chronic inflation to the new growth pattern of the region after the acceleration of the industrialization process in the 1930s. The Brazilian economist criticized the applicability of the monetary approach to the balance of payments to developing countries and put forward an alternative interpretation of the connection between external disequilibrium and inflation. Furtado formulated and tried to implement in 1962–63 the first structuralist stabilization plan—called the Three-Year Plan—in a Latin American country, based on “gradualism” and regarded as an alternative to stabilization policies sponsored by the IMF in the region.

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