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Irma Adelman: A Pioneer in the Expansion of Economics

  • Shoshana Grossbard-Shechtman
  • Regenia Gagnier

Major innovations and extensions require that economists change their focus. This entails the destruction of some of their human capital. Even though this is a process of creative destruction, typical of progress in industry, the process is somewhat painful and therefore is not undertaken lightly. Typically, most of the enthusiasm for our work on social and political aspects of economic growth was expressed by people either at the very top of our profession, who had human capital to burn, or by new entrants into the profession, who, as yet, had no human capital to lose. And, most of the resistance to our work came from the middle of the profession, who either could not afford to lose any human capital or could not be bothered to engage in the relearning effort required to absorb it. The initial reactions to our work exemplified this dualism. . . . Many graduate students came to Berkeley from all over the world in order to study under me. I then discouraged them from writing dissertations in the interdisciplinary tradition, fearing the potential damage to their careers.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 101-116

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Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:8:y:2002:i:1:p:101-116
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  1. Johnson, Paul & Temple, Jonathan, 1996. "Social Capability and Economic Development," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 37, Vassar College Department of Economics.
  2. Gaur, Sanjay, 1997. "Adelman and Morris factor analysis of developing countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 407-415, August.
  3. Aron, Janine, 2000. "Growth and Institutions: A Review of the Evidence," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(1), pages 99-135, February.
  4. Rodgers, Yana Van der Meulen & Cooley, Jane C., 1999. "Outstanding Female Economists in the Analysis and Practice of Development Economics," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1397-1411, August.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and economic growth: the perspective of the new growth theories," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9908, CEPREMAP.
  6. Adelman, Irma & Lohmoller, Jan-Berndt, 1994. "Institutions and development in the nineteenth century: A latent variable regression model," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 329-359, December.
  7. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
  8. Anand, Sudhir & Kanbur, S. M. R., 1993. "Inequality and development A critique," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 19-43, June.
  9. Morris, Cynthia Taft & Adelman, Irma, 1989. "Nineteenth-century development experience and lessons for today," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(9), pages 1417-1432, September.
  10. Adelman, Irma & Robinson, Sherman, 1989. "Income distribution and development," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 19, pages 949-1003 Elsevier.
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