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By  and Jörg Faust and Jörg Faust and Jörg Faust


Basket case or shining star? Theoretical progress, institutional economics and development in Latin America This essay is concerned about how to evaluate positive theories on Latin American development. Its content is nested in a broader discussion on theoretical decay and theoretical progress by using Imre Lakatos ’ approach of sophisticated falsificationism. The main argument states that theory driven research on Latin American development provides further evidence to the assumption that methodological collectivism has to be considered as a degenerating research program in the social sciences. In contrast, the research program of methodological individualism has developed rather progressively. In the last decade, institutional economics as a theoretical approach within the research program of methodological individualism, presents a fruitful approach for gaining insights about the economic dynamics of social order in Latin America. However, the institutional-economics-approach to explain economic development is confronted with new challenges it has yet to cope with. Key Words: Imre Lakatos, economic development, political institutions, institutional economic

Year: 2011
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