Neoclassical economic development is the view that there exists a core set of theoretical propositions that define all economic problems—whether for developed or developing countries—and even guide us toward the solutions. Details from local circumstances may need to be filled in, but these are boundary conditions for a general solution. When development economics began in the 1950s, it was rare to find economists who espoused the direct applicability of such views. Some forty years later, when the Washington Consensus triumphed with its mantra of “stabilize, liberalize, privatize,” it was breathing new life into older ideas. Why were obstacles seen in applying eighteenth-century principles in 1950, and how was the path for their applicability cleared?
From Anxiety to Nonchalance: “Neoclassical Economic Development” from 1950 to 2000
Salim Rashid is professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and wrote this paper as the CIMB professor at Universiti Utara Malaysia. He has published on economic development, the history of economic thought, economic methodology and economic theory. His current research interests are in religion and economics and in critiquing economics as “science.” He is currently the director of the Center for Urban Studies and Sustainable Development at East-West University, Bangladesh.
Salim Rashid; From Anxiety to Nonchalance: “Neoclassical Economic Development” from 1950 to 2000. History of Political Economy 1 December 2018; 50 (S1): 286–302. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182702-7033992
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