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Collapse of Development Planning

Peter Boettke

Publication Year: 1994

Conventional wisdom has it that government management of the economy is the means to transform a backward economy into a dynamic, modern one. Yet, after decades of international aid programs, development planning is today largely perceived as a failure paralyzed by its own bureaucracy and inefficiency. Despite billions of dollars of investment, development successes are few and far between and waste and mismanagement abounds.

This book showcases a diverse range of development experiences in order to ascertain the reasons for this quagmire. Case studies of development planning in China, India, post-WWII Japan, South Korea, Africa, and Eastern Europe, and of foreign aid programs (including the Marshall Plan) illustrate the insights an Austrian approach provides toward an understanding of the failure of government development planning. While economists working within the Austrian tradition have previously addressed development issues, this volume represents the first full-length treatment of the subject from a modern market process perspective. Exploding the hegemony of the traditional development paradigm, The Collapse of Development Planning addresses one of the most pressing issues of international political economy.

Contributing to the volume are: George Ayittey (American University), Wayne T. Brough (Citizens for a Sound Economy, Washington, DC), Young Back Choi (St. John's University), Steven Hanke (Johns Hopkins University), Steve Horwitz (St. Lawrence University), Shyam J. Kamath (California State University, Hayward), Shigeto Naka (Hiroshima City University), David Osterfeld (St. Joseph's College), Manisha Perera (University of Northern Colorado), Jan S. Prybyla (Pennsylvania State University), Ralph Raico (State University College, Buffalo), Parth Shah (University of Michigan, Dearborn), Kurt Schuller (Johns Hopkins University), Kiyokazu Tanaka (Sophia University, Tokyo), and Mark Thorton (Auburn University).

Published by: NYU Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

First, I would like to thank my colleagues in the Austrian Economics Program at New York University, Israel Kirzner and Mario Rizzo, for their critical input and support. Financial assistance from the Sarah Scaife Foundation for...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-11

Prior to the twentieth century, economic development was primarily thought of as a question of the institutional infrastructure of a society. Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations ([1776] 1976) set...

I. Theory

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pp. 13-58

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2. Money and Capital in Economic Development

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pp. 15-36

A quick glance at my Austrian library (a rather complete collection if I may say so) fails to pick up any work with "economic development" or "economic growth" in its title. Despite being part of the modern economic science...

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3. The Theory of Economic Development and the "European Miracle"

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pp. 37-58

Among writers on economic development, P. T. Bauer is noted both for the depth of his historical knowledge, and for his insistence on the indispensability of historical studies in understanding the phenomenon of growth...

II. Case Studies of Planning

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pp. 59-181

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4. The Political Economy of Development in Communist China: China and the Market

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pp. 61-89

I will argue that • in order to modernize and prosper, the economic system China adopted from the Soviets in the early 1950s and subsequently modified through spasmodic, often spectacular, but structurally...

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5. The Failure of Development Planning in India

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pp. 90-145

Economic policy in India since it gained independence in 1947 has been conducted within a framework of centrally directed development planning combined with intensive government regulation and control of all facets of economic...

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6. The Failure of Development Planning in Africa

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pp. 146-181

"Development planning" is a beguiling and innocuous term which should not be confused with the daily necessity of planning one's life activities. Most people have "some plan" designed to achieve a certain objective, which may be...

III. The Record on Foreign Aid and Advice

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pp. 183-227

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7. The World Bank and the IMF: Misbegotten Sisters

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pp. 185-209

One of these institutions is the World Bank, the other the International Monetary Fund, or IMF. Both were the outcome of the conference of the United States, Britain, and their World War II allies held at Bretton Woods...

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8. Does Eastern Europe Need a New (Marshall) Plan?

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pp. 210-227

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Soviet-style economies of Eastern Europe, the question of reform has come to the forefront. More particularly there has been much discussion of the role of the West in any reform...

IV. The Political Economy of the Asian Miracle

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pp. 229-285

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9. Industrial Policy as the Engine of Economic Growth in South Korea: Myth and Reality

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pp. 231-255

The rapid transition of the South Korean economy from a "hopeless basket case" in the 1960s to an "economic miracle'' in the 1980s has become a subject of much discussion, in popular as well as academic media. Many marvel...

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10. The Political Economy of Post-World War II Japanese Development: A Rent-Seeking Perspective

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pp. 256-285

After World War II Japan experienced very rapid economic growth while maintaining a stable democratic political regime.* When the American Occupation of Japan ended in 1952, Japan was economically...

V. Market Solutions to Economic Development

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11. Privatization and Development: The Case of Sri Lanka

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pp. 289-309

In the early twentieth century, many development economists and political leaders considered planned development the most direct route to economic progress.* The popularity of development planning was based...

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12. Financial Reform and Economic Development: The Currency Board System for Eastern Europe

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pp. 310-326

One of the great debates in economics pitted prominent members of the Austrian School against so-called market socialists in the 1920s and 1930s. When the dust had settled, the Austrians had gotten the best of the socialists...


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pp. 327-329


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pp. 331-334

E-ISBN-13: 9780814723456
E-ISBN-10: 0814723454
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814712252
Print-ISBN-10: 0814712258

Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 1994