Advising the “Devil” or “Preaching” to the Public? The Controversy Over Milton Friedman’s 1975 Visit to Chile

Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Sir James Steuart: The Political Economy of Money and Trade

ISBN: 978-1-83867-708-4, eISBN: 978-1-83867-707-7

ISSN: 0743-4154

Publication date: 30 October 2020

Abstract

This chapter explores a number of relatively unknown aspects of the controversy over Milton Friedman’s March 1975 visit to Chile through the analytical framework provided by James M. Buchanan’s late 1950s assessment of the economist-physician analogy. The chapter draws upon a range of archival and neglected primary sources to show that the topics which generally rear their head in any contemporary discussion of Friedman’s visit to Chile – for example, whether it is appropriate to provide policy advice to a dictator – were aired in a largely private mid-1970s exchange between Friedman and a number of professional associates. In particular, the controversy over Friedman and Chile began several months before Friedman arrived in Santiago.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

I particularly thank David Friedman, June and Ken Bronfenbrenner, and Karen and Ragnar Johnson for kindly providing permission to quote from archival material. I also thank Peter Boettke, Juan Pablo Couyoumdjian, Elizabeth Dunn (Duke University Library), Olivia Garrison (Iowa State University Library), and T. Tintner for providing valuable assistance. I similarly thank the editors, RHETM’s anonymous readers, Ali Khan, David M. Levy, Edward McPhail, Sandra Peart, and Vlad Tarko for helpful comments and discussion.

Citation

Farrant, A. (2020), "Advising the “Devil” or “Preaching” to the Public? The Controversy Over Milton Friedman’s 1975 Visit to Chile", Fiorito, L., Scheall, S. and Suprinyak, C.E. (Ed.) Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Sir James Steuart: The Political Economy of Money and Trade (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 38C), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 107-137. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0743-41542020000038C009

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