The post–World War II period saw the reemergence of growth and development as key fields of inquiry. Initially, both growth and development studies emphasized grand theories with little or no empirical basis. This article focuses on the contribution of two central players in the quantifying of economic development and structural transformation: Simon Kuznets and Hollis Chenery. Kuznets brought the national income framework to bear on the process of growth and structural transformation in, primarily, more-developed countries, with data stretching back to the early phases of the process of modern economic growth. Chenery relied on cross-sectional data to derive patterns of development and their main sources of intercountry variation in an economy-wide, disaggregated framework.

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