As a pioneer of development economics, Hirschman sought to establish it as a discipline theoretically distinct from mainstream economics. By the 1980s, this project had collapsed, and the development question was reabsorbed by the economic mainstream. This article, however, argues that current development debates remain deeply indebted to Hirschman’s contribution. His reformist vision, rejection of one-size-fits-all solutions, his insistence on the ineluctable role of uncertainty, and his search for country-specific, incremental, and evolutionary policies make his approach central to current development discourse.
I am grateful to Marina Bianchi, Maurizio Franzini, and my co-panelists in the memorial roundtable on “Albert Hirschman and the Social Sciences,” Columbia University, New York, December 10, 2013: Jeremy Adelman, Victoria de Grazia, Ira Katznelson, and Nadia Urbinati, for their valuable comments and insights on a previous version of this paper. A slightly modified version of this paper will appear in the Elgar Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Development, edited by Jayati Ghosh, Rainer Kattel & Erik Reinert, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, forthcoming in 2016
Alacevich, M. (2016), "Albert O. Hirschman and the Rise and Decline of Development Economics", Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 34B), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 13-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0743-41542016000034B001Download as .RIS
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Copyright © 2016, Michele Alacevich