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Is Dualism Worth Revisiting?

By Gustav Ranis


The dual economy model, built on classical foundations, served as the cornerstone of development theory for several decades after World War II. It subsequently came under neo-classical micro-econometric attack and has fallen into general disuse, at least within the Anglo-Saxon academic establishment. This paper presents a brief intellectual history of the framework and tries to respond to some of the criticisms that have been leveled against it - some peripheral, others central. We then proceed to inquire into the usefulness of the dual economy model for understanding both historical and contemporary real world situations and for development policy. We conclude by asking whether recent theoretical developments in economics offer an opportunity for reassessing the relevance of the model.Dualism, Economic Development, Classical Theory, New-Classical Theory

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