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Arthur Lewis' Contribution to Development Thinking and Policy

  • Gustav Ranis

    ()

    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

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    Arthur Lewis' seminal 1954 paper and its emphasis on dualism appeared at a time when neither the work of Keynes or Harrod-Domar nor the later neoclassical production function of Solow seemed relevant for developing countries. As a consequence, his model, rooted in the classical tradition, plus its many extensions, generated an extensive literature at the center of development theory. The approach also encountered increasingly strong criticism, some of the "red herring" variety, but some, spearheaded by neoclassical microeconomists like Rosenzweig, also raised serious challenges, focused especially on its labor market assumptions. This paper reviews this landscape and asks what theoretical or policy relevance the Lewis model retains for today's developing countries.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp891.pdf
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    Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 891.

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    Length: 19 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:891
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    1. Chiranjib Sen & K. Surekha Rao, 2001. "Book review," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 219-222.
    2. Townsend, R.M., 1991. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 91-3, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
    3. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
    5. Fields, Gary S., 1975. "Rural-urban migration, urban unemployment and underemployment, and job-search activity in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 165-187, June.
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