Employment, Income Distribution, and Development Strategy: Problems of the Developing Countries

Employment, Income Distribution, and Development Strategy: Problems of the Developing Countries

Employment, Income Distribution, and Development Strategy: Problems of the Developing Countries

Employment, Income Distribution, and Development Strategy: Problems of the Developing Countries

Excerpt

This collection of essays by a distinguished group of economists from many different countries is published in celebration of the sixty-fifth birthday of Hans Singer who, after twenty-two years with the United Nations in New York, is now Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies and Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex.It is fitting that one who is so truly an international economist and has lived most of his professional life in the service of the developing countries should have a birthday present from colleagues throughout the world and that the present should take the form of a series of studies of economic and social problems confronting the developing countries. On nearly all of these problems he has written himself. Indeed, he might conceivably have been asked to undertake a review of the book to form a kind of appendix.

The editors hesitated to go quite so far but thought it natural to invite him to take part in his own birthday party by pouring a cocktail to start it off. This was to be a development of the theme: 'where and how did I learn the economics that I have found useful in practice?' Without answering this question directly Hans has gone a long way to answering it indirectly in a fascinating memoir of his upbringing as an economist. As he recounts his wanderings, spiritual as well as geographical, from Bonn to Cambridge and Manchester, then to Whitehall and Glasgow, before this intellectual genesis was succeeded by exodus to the United Nations, we are given a vivid reminder of what it was to be a refugee economist in the thirties and forties with all their intoxications, perplexities and horrors.

The contributions fall into three groups. First come six papers on the distribution of income in the process of development or on the related issue of employment opportunities. The next seven papers discuss various aspects of development strategy including industrialisation, the role of capital goods, collective self-reliance and population policy. Finally come four miscellaneous papers on problems ranging from food aid to India's experience of economic management. With one exception none of the papers have appeared in print elsewhere.

A full bibliography of Professor Singer's writings is given at the end of the book.

The readiness with which contributors agreed to provide unpublished work for inclusion in this volume is testimony to the affection and regard which Hans Singer enjoys among his numerous friends. We should like as editors to thank all those who have collaborated in the planning and preparation of the volume and join with them in wishing Hans Singer many happy returns.

ALEC CAIRNCROSS
MOHINDER PURI

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