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Markets and the State in the evolution of the "Prebisch manifesto"

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Markets and the State in the evolution of the "Prebisch manifesto"

Author: Dosman, Edgar Physical Description: páginas. 87-102 Date: December 2001 ECLAC symbol: LC/G.2150-P


Introduction (first paragraph);
When Raúl Prebisch died in 1986 his ideas were out of fashion in Ronald Reagan's Washington and Latin American capitals, dismissed by most Western economists as passé -or even dangerously misguided in the new crusade for globalization. Only United Nations circles and a narrowing band of supporters insisted on his permanent contribution. It was as if his life had merely reflected the turbulence of the "short, violent century" (as Hobsbawn termed it);; now that it was over, with the Cold War consigned to history, so too (it appeared); was Prebisch's legacy. Exactly the reverse has occurred. Prebisch's life and work retains a remarkable contemporary significance. Instead of diminishing, his stature as economist and policy-maker has grown, and the recognition of the magnitude of Prebisch's contribution continues to expand as previously unpublished sources and unpublished manuscripts are assembled by scholars. Prebisch, it turns out, wears very well. The central theme which preoccupied him from the 1920s to the North-South Dialogue was the relationship between markets and the State; today globalization and its unpopular aspects (or "civilizing globalization" as some authors have termed it); remains the central challenge for both Latin America and most of humanity. For this reason, it is worth revisiting Prebisch's immense contribution -both the challenges he faced, and the concepts and policy tools he evolved through trial and error to meet the development challenges of Argentina, Latin America and the world.