Geography, Structural Change and Economic Development

Geography, Structural Change and Economic Development

Theory and Empirics

Edited by Neri Salvadori, Pasquale Commendatore and Massimo Tamberi

The authors in this book regard the process of economic expansion as a non-homogeneous and multifaceted phenomenon which has deeply affected human welfare, and cultural, social and political change. The book is a bridge between the theorists (Rosenstein-Rodan, Lewis, Myrdal, and Hirschmann) who in the post-war period analyzed regional inequalities, structural change and dualism, and the modern literature on economic growth. The latter has emphasized the existence of multiple equilibria, bifurcations and various types of dynamic complexity, and clarified the conditions for the emergence of phenomena such as cumulative causation, path dependence and hysteresis. These are the typical ingredients of structural change, economic development or underdevelopment.

Chapter 8: The Legacy of Dualism in New Growth Theory

Salvatore Capasso and Maria Rosaria Carillo

Subjects: economics and finance, radical and feminist economics


Salvatore Capasso and Maria Rosaria Carillo 8.1. INTRODUCTION The most recent advances in growth theory have shown renewed interest in issues that had long been marginalised, at least by the mainstream literature on growth. Structural changes in production systems, increasing urbanization during development, unemployment persistence, the possibilities of market failures and the emerging of poverty traps are some of these issues. The study of such issues requires complex theoretical approaches and the assumption of frictions and impediments to the proper functioning of markets. Hence balanced growth cannot always provide a proper framework for such analysis. However, as amply shown by empirical evidence, development1 very rarely occurs in a smooth pattern. Almost always, development involves deep restructuring of the economy, with the rescaling of some sectors and the emergence and growth of others. It entails changes in health standards, education, and in institutional settings. Inevitably, an analysis of growth and development which does not fully take such considerations into account risks being partial and limitative. Although these same issues have long occupied much of the attention of development literature; the latter has been more interested in the empirical description of the process of development as this unfolds, rather than in growth. On these grounds, growth theory has recently attempted to modify the standard balanced growth framework to allow for some empirical regularities which were hitherto not taken into account. As a result, this literature has been able to provide an innovative rationale for poverty traps, the emergence of multiple equilibria, the...

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