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Neostructuralism and Heterodox Thinking in Latin America and the Caribbean in the Early Twenty-First Century

image of Neostructuralism and Heterodox Thinking in Latin America and the Caribbean in the Early Twenty-First Century
Neostructuralism delves more deeply into the issues addressed in structuralism, aiming to improve positioning in the international economy, boost productive employment creation, reduce structural heterogeneity and improve income distribution, while maintaining financial balances capable of sustaining changes in the sphere of production by means of social and State support. Far from being an insular system of thinking, neostructuralism is an open system that lends itself to dialogue with other philosophies that recognize the limitations of the dominant paradigm and object to its methodological monism. This book offers a fresh look at neostructuralism and heterodox thinking at the start of the twenty-first century. In a context shaped by the impacts of the worst economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression and by paradigmatic changes at the global level, it aims to carve out arenas for discussion between alternative lines of thinking in order to lay the foundations for a socioeconomically inclusive and environmentally sustainable model of development for the region.

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Productivity and structural change: structuralism and its dialogue with other hertodox currents

Two main tributes may be paid to the greats of economic thinking: that they were the first to conceive or systematically present ideas that were ahead of their time, but were corroborated in subsequent years; or that they set forth a research agenda that remains influential to this day. Authors such as Prebisch, Furtado and Fajnzylber deserve both accolades, notwithstanding that some economists may not be fully aware of the extent of their contribution to development theory. This chapter hails the structuralist tradition in another way: by combining it with other currents of thought and seeking points of convergence and cross-fertilization. Where authors and schools are able to identify the key aspects of an economy’s performance, their ideas tend to be complementary and harmonious; the ease with which their ideas dovetail is a consequence of their depth and relevance.

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