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As Hirschman wrote of himself in an essay of 1984, he was a dissenter. The paper focuses on three dimensions of this dissent. Dissent from orthodoxy, in the first place…
As Hirschman wrote of himself in an essay of 1984, he was a dissenter. The paper focuses on three dimensions of this dissent. Dissent from orthodoxy, in the first place, even if his stance rarely assumed the feature of a frontal opposition. His distance from mainstream economics clearly emerges in the contrast between growth and development, here exemplified through a comparison of Solow’s and Hirschman’s conceptions. Second, dissent from heterodoxy: from Nurkse, Rosenstein Rodan and the balanced growth theory, but also a distance from the kind of economic theorizing recently exemplified by Krugman’s critical appraisal of Hirschman’s contribution. Third, a dissent from Hirschman himself. He developed a practice defined as “self-subversion” to convey the meaning of a self-critical dialogue with his own positions. In this context, two examples will be discussed, namely his critical reappraisal of the dependency theory, to which Hirschman as a young man contributed indirectly, and his after-thoughts on the choice between sequential or simultaneous strategies. Hirschman’s reflections on the last theme appear relevant to address the problems of current Eurozone crisis: its roots may be traced back to the faulty construction of the Monetary Union, which in turn largely stemmed from the misplaced confidence in the “automatism” of the sequence Monetary Union-Fiscal Union-Political Union.
The paper’s contention is that Hirschman’s “possibilism,” often mentioned, is not the result of a generic psychological propensity to optimism but stems from analytical observations and penetrating critical analysis of received ideas or categories, of other authors or of Hirschman himself.
This paper discusses the role of Albert O. Hirschman as a founder of development economics in the postwar years. Although Hirschman maintained a strong interest in…
This paper discusses the role of Albert O. Hirschman as a founder of development economics in the postwar years. Although Hirschman maintained a strong interest in development matters throughout his entire professional career, his major contributions to development economics took place between the mid-1950s and the late 1960s. The paper examines Hirschman’s innovative contributions to the new discipline. When, in the 1950s, development economics gravitated around the concept of “balanced growth,” Hirschman opened new vistas with a theory of “unbalanced growth.” In the early 1960s, Hirschman focused on reformist political approaches to development, against the opposed extremisms of reaction and revolution. Finally, in the late 1960s, Hirschman opened new perspectives on the importance of detailed analysis of development projects, against the theoretical drift of early development economics.
The discussion of Hirschman’s development career is also an opportunity to observe the gap between theoretical debates and development policies. Whereas development economists often clashed on theoretical issues, their views were remarkably closer on practical questions.
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.
Pantaleoni used to say that there are two categories of economists—those who can, in the sense of being able to produce original work, and those who cannot. A more…
Pantaleoni used to say that there are two categories of economists—those who can, in the sense of being able to produce original work, and those who cannot. A more meaningful and more useful distinction can be made between those who reason about the given problems in terms of stable equilibrium (most of them classicists) and those who do their thinking in terms of unstable equilibrium (actually stable disequilibrium) and sheer disequilibrium (most of them modern and contemporary scientists).
The Leading Sector interpretation of development originates from the observation that all multisectoral economies exhibit a certain degree of intersectoral…
The Leading Sector interpretation of development originates from the observation that all multisectoral economies exhibit a certain degree of intersectoral interdependence, through either the incomes generated in each sector and the corresponding final demand for other products, or through interindustry relations. The sectors in such an economy grow at different rates, as determined by the product of the appropriate income elasticities of demand and the overall growth rate, the latter factor being the weighted sum of the sectoral rates. However in a stagnant economy, as opposed to a dynamic one, even the fastest growing sectors are undynamic. To increase the overall growth rate, the foremost proponents of the leading strategy— Hirschman and Currie—recommend an increase in the growth rate of a few, key, potentially dynamic sectors; then the rest of the economy will be pulled along through the intersectoral relations.
Recent works on the structural transformation of developing countries usually include only a few countries because of the availability of data. Beyond the resulting lack…
Recent works on the structural transformation of developing countries usually include only a few countries because of the availability of data. Beyond the resulting lack of representativeness, these works also hit a strong disparity between the labour reallocation patterns of sub-regions. This paper devoted to sub-Saharan Africa, evaluates the performance of sub-Saharan Africa, as a whole, in structural transformation using a more exhaustive database and highlights key disparities that exist between the performances of sub-Saharan African sub-regions.
With a database covering 43 sub-Saharan African countries classified into 4 sub-regions, the paper uses the shift-share method over the period 1991–2012 with sub-periods of 1991–2000 and 2000–2012.
Results show that labour reallocation in sub-Saharan Africa occurred, though weakly, towards more productive activities over the period 1991–2012. Results also show a significant disparity between sub-regions' labour reallocation pattern. While East Africa has experienced a labour reallocation towards more productive activities, West Africa has seen a labour reallocation towards activities experiencing an increase in productivity. Central Africa and Southern Africa experienced a labour reallocation towards less productive activities, and these activities know, moreover, a decrease of productivity.
Findings suggest that any political strategy purposing to coordinate structural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa will result in a failure if countries' peculiarities are not taken into account.
This paper offers a representative picture of sub-Saharan Africa's structural transformation and illustrates disparities between its sub-regions' performances.
This paper aims to examine the distinctiveness of South Korean social enterprises from a historical institutionalism perspective. From this perspective, the author focuses…
This paper aims to examine the distinctiveness of South Korean social enterprises from a historical institutionalism perspective. From this perspective, the author focuses on the proactive roles played by the government in the process of emergence and formulation of social enterprises in South Korea. The author roots this paper in the concept of the developmental state and examines how this concept applies to newly emerging social enterprises in South Korea.
This paper first introduces the process of South Korean social enterprises’ emergence as an independent phenomenon. The author explains the process with a link to governmental actions, such as the introduction of public programs and government acts. Second, this paper introduces the concept of developmental state which captures the proactive role of the state in social, economic and political development in South Korea. Third, this paper applies the institutional framework proposed by Kerlin (2013) to see how the South Korean social enterprise model can be located from a comparative perspective and how the South Korean model can contribute to the expansion of the existing framework.
This paper finds that the state involvement in South Korea is a reflection of the historical path of the developmental state. The cross-comparison of South Korean social enterprises from a historical institutionalist approach finds that the South Korean case may contribute to the ongoing scholarly debate by suggesting taking a Weberian ideal type of an interventionist state into account for an extension of the proposed framework. This paper also uncovered the strategic approach of the South Korean Government in utilizing this public policy tool by adopting and combining existing social enterprise models.
This paper demonstrates the state’s intents to mobilize economic and societal resources as public policy intervention tools, which can be understood from a developmental state context. This role would be distinct when compared to those in Europe and the USA. This paper has a limitation to restrict its analytical scope to formally recognized social enterprises because it focuses on the role of the state in utilizing social enterprises for public policy agenda: social development and social welfare provision.
As a practical implication, this study might provide an insightful framework for South Korean public policy makers, outlining the contributions and limitations of state-led public policies associated with social enterprises. As seen in the historical path of governmental interventions, governmental public policies do not necessarily guarantee their sustainable community impacts without the consideration of private or nonprofit actors’ spontaneous involvements. The flip side of state-led interventions requires policy makers to become more cautious, as they address social problems with public policy intents.
The majority of current studies on social enterprises in South Korea mainly focus on reporting the quantitative increase in the number of registered social enterprises. Beyond this quantitative description of its achievement, this paper also provides a historical narration and philosophical background of this phenomenon. Additionally, it shows how this artificial government intervention in social enterprises could be accepted from a historical perspective and brought remarkable responses from the private and civil society sectors in South Korea.
Although the Chinese economy has experienced a strong and rapid growth due to the success of its economic reform, the Chinese central government faces a stern fiscal…
Although the Chinese economy has experienced a strong and rapid growth due to the success of its economic reform, the Chinese central government faces a stern fiscal decline. The fiscal problem has undermined the ability of the central government in completing many crucial governing tasks. By examining the institutional root of the fiscal problem, this paper argues that the fiscal decline is part of the ironic corollary of the decentralization strategy of China’s economic reform which produces a “weak center, strong local” outcome. To fully address the problem, China should undertake major institutional reforms to redefine as well as institutionalize the fiscal roles of different levels of government.