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Research Article

W. Arthur Lewis and New World: Variations within the Analytic Framework of Neoclassical Economics

Author:

Hilbourne A. Watson

Bucknell University, USA, US
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Abstract

Substantively, the broad disagreements between the NWG and W. Arthur Lewis reflected technical rather than fundamental differences, as the main disagreements were internal to neoclassical economic theory. Lewis was aware that imperialism (1870-1945) retarded and/or constrained the space for capital accumulation in the colonies and that it produced and/or intensified economic inequality and limited social transformation in most colonies; however, this was not an original insight. Lewis said, the “backwardness of the less developed countries of 1870 could be changed only by people prepared to alter certain customs, laws, and institutions, and to shift the balance of political and economic power away from the old landowning and aristocratic classes.” He stressed that “the imperial powers ... allied themselves with the existing power blocs. They were especially hostile to educated young people whom, by means of a color bar, they usually kept out of positions where administrative experience might be gained, whether in the public service or in private business…. One result of this was to divert into a long and bitter anti-colonial struggles much brilliant talent which could have been used creatively in development sectors” (Lewis 1978: 214, quoted in Frieden 2006:91; see Girvan 2005; Boulding 1951: 216).
How to Cite: Watson, H.A., (2009). W. Arthur Lewis and New World: Variations within the Analytic Framework of Neoclassical Economics. Iberoamericana – Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 38(1-2), pp.49–79. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16993/ibero.81
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Published on 01 Dec 2009.
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