The Evolution of Development Thinking: Theory and Policy

40 Pages Posted: 26 May 2004

See all articles by Gustav Ranis

Gustav Ranis

Yale University - Department of Economics (Deceased)

Date Written: May 2004


This paper makes an effort to trace the course of development thinking and associated development policy over the past six decades.

Section I focuses on the early Post-War Consensus, with theory focused on extensions of classical dualism theory and policy concentrating on creating the pre-conditions for development. Section II traces the increasing awareness of the role of prices, a diminishing reliance on the developmentalist state and an increased reliance on structural adjustment lending associated with IFI conditionality. Section III illuminates the search for silver bullets which can be identified as key to the achievement of success. Finally, Section IV presents the author's assessment of where we are now and where we will, or should be, heading in the effort to achieve the third world's basic development objectives.

Keywords: Development Theory, Development Policy

JEL Classification: O11, O20

Suggested Citation

Ranis, Gustav, The Evolution of Development Thinking: Theory and Policy (May 2004). Available at SSRN:

Gustav Ranis (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Economics (Deceased)

United States

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