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CEPAL Review

Cepal Review is the leading journal for the study of economic and social development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by the Economic Commission for Latin America, each issue focuses on economic trends, industrialization, income distribution, technological development and monetary systems, as well as the implementation of economic reform and transfer of technology. Written in English and Spanish (Revista de la Cepal), each tri-annual issue offers approximately 12 studies and essays undertaken by authoritative experts or gathered from conference proceedings.

English Spanish

Raúl Prebisch and economic dynamics: Cyclical growth and centre-periphery interaction

Prebisch believed that understanding the evolution of capitalist economies over time and in different contexts required a general cycle approach, encompassing all the different areas of economic activity, which he labelled “economic dynamics.” This theory, developed between 1945 and 1949, stemmed from a critique of both neoclassical and Keynesian theories, which Prebisch viewed as static representations of capitalism. It was applied first to a closed economy and then to a centre-periphery context. The theory combined the notion that profit is the driving force of economic activity, with a process of forced savings and the idea that the time lag between income circulation (and the resulting demand) and the completion of the production process are the main source of cyclical fluctuations. Prebisch’s dynamics theory, which he never completed, influenced his “development manifesto” (Prebisch, 1950).

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