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Why development is more complex than growth: clarifying some confusions

Hamid Hosseini

Review of Social Economy, 2003, vol. 61, issue 1, 91-110

Abstract: Development economics, as the economics of the less advanced nations, emerged during the 1940s and the 1950s. Although many pioneers of this policyrelated branch of economics were aware of the peculiarities of the poor unindustrialized countries, many development economists, unfortunately, ignored the special circumstances of the LDCs and proposed, for these countries, policy prescriptions usually advocated for the more advanced nations. Adhering to monoeconomics, many historians of development thought traced the roots of development to the writings of Adam Smith and other pioneers of modern economics, with roots in Western industrialized societies. Thus,many development economists ignored the realism/relevance required for the study of the LDCs. An unfortunate consequence of the above has been the confusion of development With the less complex notion of growth. This confusion, I argue, led to the use of per capita GDP as the sole measure of development, and to the utilization of the growth models like the Harrod-Domar as the solution by development economists and international agencies. In this essay, attempt has been made to clarify the various confusions about development vs. growth, to demonstrate why development is a lot more complex, and to seek the causes of the confusion. To demonstrate these theoretically, we have utilized various economic tools, including Leibenstein's notion of x-inefficiency and Hla Myint's notion of organizational dualism.

Keywords: development; growth; monoeconomics; duo-economics; industrialization; capitalism; the Harrod-Domar model; x-inefficiency; dualism; market failure; conventional economics; Keynesianism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003
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DOI: 10.1080/0034676032000050329

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