Les nombreuses recettes de la croissance économique

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETS. – Les “grandes idées” en matière de développement ont toujours été dominées par des visions globales de la transformation des sociétés pauvres. De la “grande poussée” à la “croissance équilibrée”, du “consensus de Washington” aux “réformes de deuxième génération”, l’accent a été mis sur le changement en bloc.

La mode actuelle en matière de développement ne déroge pas à la règle. L’obsession généralisée pour l’agenda de la “gouvernance” suppose un large effort pour remodeler les institutions des sociétés en voie de développement, comme condition préalable à la croissance économique. Le projet du millénaire de l’ONU inclut notamment une grande poussée coordonnée des investissements en capital humain, en infrastructures publiques et en technologies agricoles.

Cependant, il y a aussi eu quelques dissidents iconoclastes à ces approches par trop “globales”, et Albert Hirschman a sans doute été le plus illustre d’entre eux. En effet, les contributions majeures de Hirschman sont désormais reconnues par le Social Science Research Council (Conseil pour les recherches en sciences sociales) des États-Unis, qui a instauré cette année un prix en son honneur.

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