Development and Underdevelopment in the History of Economic Thought

Underdevelopment, structural heterogeneity and development planning. The role of social policy within the development agenda in Argentina, Brazil and Chile (1960-1975).

Dvoskin Nicolas, CEIL-CONICET, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento

This paper analyzes the role of economic and social development ideas in Argentina, Brazil and Chile during the 1960s and early-70s, emphasizing on the role of social issues within the development planning agenda. The paper’s theoretical standpoint is the recognition of an important shift in the diagnosis of the Latin American economic backwardness around the mid-60s: from the underdevelopment hypothesis to the structural heterogeneity hypothesis. After an introduction of the theoretical discussions, the paper analyzes different official governmental documents from the three countries in order to find the role that social policy is expected to play within the economic development agenda in each case. Similarities and differences among the neighbors are specified in order to identify this conceptual shift, defined both theoretically and in the guidelines of public policy.

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Keywords: structural heterogeneity; economic development; Latin America; development planning; social policy

Paper file