Skip to main content

Evgeny Preobrazhensky and Raúl Prebisch on development

Andrés Lazzarani and Denis Melnik have a new paper on two pioneers of economic development.

From the abstract:
This article surveys the views on economic development of two protagonists of developmental policy in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and Latin America: Russian economist Evgeny Preobrazhensky (1886-1937) and Argentine economist Raúl Prebisch (1901- 1986). Although the two thinkers started from different analytical premises and developed their theories in diverse social and political settings, there is a basic commonality between the two since the examination of the nature and causes of economic backwardness became the mainstay for stepping up their own economic policies to trigger a developmental process. Each in his own way advanced the idea that backwardness is not a necessary first step of economic development, to be overcome only through economic policies that encourage thriftiness and entrepreneurship and avoid excessive state interference in the economy. To the contrary, for them, backwardness is a result of the dependence of a capital-poor economy on the world economic system. Their studies of backwardness highlighted not only economic, but also political and social obstacles that the peripheral countries must face in their strategies to move toward sustainable development.
Read the full paper here or here.


  1. It's been many years since I poured over Eugene Preobrazensky's book. Over 30 years. Thank you for posting this.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A few brief comments on Brexit and the postmortem of the European Union

Another end of the world is possible
There will be a lot of postmortems for the European Union (EU) after Brexit. Many will suggest that this was a victory against the neoliberal policies of the European Union. See, for example, the first three paragraphs of Paul Mason's column here. And it is true, large contingents of working class people, that have suffered with 'free-market' economics, voted for leaving the union. The union, rightly or wrongly, has been seen as undemocratic and responsible for the economics woes of Europe.

The problem is that while it is true that the EU leaders have been part of the problem and have pursued the neoliberal policies within the framework of the union, sometimes with treaties like the Fiscal Compact, it is far from clear that Brexit and the possible demise of the union, if the fever spreads to France, Germany and other countries with their populations demanding their own referenda, will lead to the abandonment of neoliberal policies. Aust…

A brief note on Venezuela and the turn to the right in Latin America

So besides the coup in Brazil (which was all but confirmed by the last revelations, if you had any doubts), and the electoral victory of Macri in Argentina, the crisis in Venezuela is reaching a critical level, and it would not be surprising if the Maduro administration is recalled, even though right now the referendum is not scheduled yet.

The economy in Venezuela has collapsed (GDP has fallen by about 14% or so in the last two years), inflation has accelerated (to three digit levels; 450% or so according to the IMF), there are shortages of essential goods, recurrent energy blackouts, and all of these aggravated by persistent violence. Contrary to what the press suggests, these events are not new or specific to left of center governments. Similar events occurred in the late 1980s, in the infamous Caracazo, when the fall in oil prices caused an external crisis, inflation, and food shortages, which eventually, after the announcement of a neoliberal economic package that included the i…

What is the 'Classical Dichotomy'?