Transportation and Economic Development in Latin America

Transportation and Economic Development in Latin America

Transportation and Economic Development in Latin America

Transportation and Economic Development in Latin America

Excerpt

Two friends now on the staff of the Brookings Institution have so greatly influenced my thinking about transport planning and economic development that I cannot forego the privilege of acknowledging their contributions. Wilfred Owen paused frequently in his own research on these matters to chat at length with me and to share his impressions, his experiences, and his sage and witty comments. Without his impetus, the case studies contained in this book would never have begun. Joseph Grunwald has spent so much of his academic life in Latin America that I, who first came to know him in Chile in 1960, tend to regard him more as a Latin economist than an American one. It was his concern with the problems and place of economic development in Latin America that led him to urge me on many occasions to write. Yet neither of these friends can be held responsible for the results presented here. They have been kind, perhaps too kind, in their criticisms, for this book presents ideas often at variance with theirs.

Beginning in 1944 when I was assigned to Puerto Rico by the Army, I have developed over the years a deep and abiding interest in Latin American economic development problems. My Master's thesis dealt, for example, with land tenure reform in Puerto Rico. Then during the years starting in 1958 when I served as a Fulbright professor in a succession of Latin American universities, from Ecuador to Argentina and thence to Peru, including along the way many shorter assignments in most of the other countries, I came to have a direct role in development planning if only because my students and colleagues drew me into their endeavors in the government bureaus where they worked. To acknowledge by name the many many associates in Latin America who "educated" me would be impossible, but certainly Dr. Samuel Gorban, Dean of the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the National University of Litoral during my tenure there, and one of the moving forces behind the Association of Latin American Faculties of Economic Sciences, must be mentioned. He, along with Dr. Carlos Capuñay Mimbela, dean of the Faculty of Economic Science at San Marcos in Lima, drew me into the mainstream of economic thinking in Latin America and put me to work on problems of direct moment to their countries. If either had had his way, I would not have left Latin America.

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