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Arthur Lewis' Contribution to Development Thinking and Policy

Author

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  • Gustav Ranis

    () (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gustav Ranis, 2004. "Arthur Lewis' Contribution to Development Thinking and Policy," Working Papers 891, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:891
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    File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp891.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
    3. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    4. 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.
    5. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marktanner Marcus & Makdisi Samir, 2008. "Development against All Odds? The Case of Lebanon," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 4(3), pages 101-133, September.
    2. Géza Rippel, 2017. "China – Rebalancing and Sustainable Convergence," Financial and Economic Review, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 16(Sepcial I), pages 50-72.
    3. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:59:y:2014:i:01:n:s0217590814500040 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:transe:v:109:y:2018:i:c:p:174-189 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sonja S. Teelucksingh & Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, 2010. "Biodiversity Valuation in Developing Countries: A Focus on Small Island Developing States (SIDS)," Working Papers 2010.111, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Diane Coffey & John Papp & Dean Spears, 2015. "Short-Term Labor Migration from Rural North India: Evidence from New Survey Data," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 34(3), pages 361-380, June.
    7. Prema-chandra Athukorala & Zheng Wei, 2015. "Economic Transition and Labour Market Dynamics in China: An Interpretative Survey of the ‘Turning Point’ Debate," Departmental Working Papers 2015-06, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Development Theory; Dualism; Labor Markets;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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