Lauchlin Currie and Albert O. Hirschman worked together as advisers to the National Planning Council in Colombia in the 1950s. Both had little experience in development economics when they arrived, and did not see eye to eye about the functioning and policy recommendations of the council. Retracing their debates on internal and public issues using archival sources shows how the Colombian experience marked their views on the role of policy advisers, development policy, and the obstacles to development processes. Our main contribution is to show how this experience contributed to form their theories of development, which evolved from technical discussions on growth mechanics to the necessity of adopting a development strategy dealing with issues of political economy.

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