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The metamorphosis of Lewis's dual economy model


  • Dipak Ghosh


This paper argues that Arthur Lewis originally presented the problem of economic development in terms of an open system, in the sense that it focused on a number of possible pitfalls and socio-economic constraints in the process of capital accumulation and industrialization in a labour-surplus economy. In the hands of the neoclassical economists, who were predominantly interested in achieving deterministic equilibrium results by introducing strict assumptions, the theoretical system later became closed - something Lewis never intended. JEL Classifications: B41, O10, O17, O29

Suggested Citation

  • Dipak Ghosh, 2007. "The metamorphosis of Lewis's dual economy model," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 5-25.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:14:y:2007:i:1:p:5-25 DOI: 10.1080/13501780601170032

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Hudson, 1996. "Trends in Multi-authored Papers in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 153-158, Summer.
    2. Scott, Loren C & Mitias, Peter M, 1996. "Trends in Rankings of Economics Departments in the U.S.: An Update," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(2), pages 378-400, April.
    3. Laband, David N, 1986. "Article Popularity," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(1), pages 173-180, January.
    4. Joshua S. Gans & George B. Shepherd, 1994. "How Are the Mighty Fallen: Rejected Classic Articles by Leading Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 165-179, Winter.
    5. Blank, Rebecca M, 1991. "The Effects of Double-Blind versus Single-Blind Reviewing: Experimental Evidence from The American Economic Review," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1041-1067, December.
    6. Aloysius Siow, 1991. "Are First Impressions Important in Academia?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 236-255.
    7. Laband, David N & Piette, Michael J, 1994. "Favoritism versus Search for Good Papers: Empirical Evidence Regarding the Behavior of Journal Editors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 194-203, February.
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    More about this item


    economic development; dual economy models; development methodology; marketable surplus; open system; closed system;

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O29 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Other


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