All the Difference

All the Difference: A Development Economist's Quest

BENJAMIN HIGGINS
Copyright Date: 1992
Pages: 304
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zt71
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  • Book Info
    All the Difference
    Book Description:

    He goes on to tell the story of his advisory missions to Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and the South Pacific. Higgins weaves anecdotal accounts of his adventures in these regions, and gives his personal reactions to these environments along with analysis of the development efforts in which he participated. He explains how professional thinking about economic and social development evolved as experience and knowledge accumulated. The book also includes accounts of the author's experiences with, and reactions to, a variety of multicultural and bilateral aid agencies, thus providing an intimate picture of their operation. In his final chapter Higgins sums up his own views on the current state of economic development, development economics, economics in general, and the role of political and cultural factors in the development process.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6336-0
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Acronyms
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. 1 How I Became a Development Economist
    (pp. 3-29)

    My father was a gentleman. I still remember my astonishment when I first discovered this curious fact. As a boy I thought of my father as simply unemployed. He was trained as an engineer at McGill University, but had not held a job since my older sister was born. Then came the day when a census taker called. I happened to be alone in the house in which my father, as well as my two sisters, my brother and myself had been born, and which he had inherited fromhisfather. The census taker had a large form which he...

  6. 2 Initiation Rites: Libya, 1951—52
    (pp. 30-47)

    Libya in 1951 was near the bottom of the UN list in terms of per capita income, a true “least developed country”, as we would say today. It was a big country, with an area equal to that of the United States east of the Mississippi, but most of that area was sand. The narrow coastal strip where citrus fruits, olives, tobacco and vegetables could be grown, together with the high plain suitable for wheat and nomadic livestock cultivation, and the oases further south in the Sahara, supported a population of less than one and a half million people, most...

  7. 3 The Ideological Factor: Indonesia, 1952—53
    (pp. 48-72)

    I arrived in Jakarta in July of 1952, two and one-half years after Indonesia’s achievement of independence. I was settled in a room with a verandah overlooking the courtyard of the gracious old colonial hotel, the Hotel des Indes. It was still very Dutch in style and atmosphere, serving cold meat, cheese and nodules of chocolate for breakfast, which I intensely disliked, andrijstafelfor lunch, which I greatly enjoyed. I was given an office next to the Finance Minister, Sumitro Djodjohadikusumo. Each day began with a policy conference in Sumitro’s office. Sometimes in attendance were Kheow Bien Tie, a...

  8. 4 The Power Factor: Indonesia and the Philippines, 1954–59
    (pp. 73-95)

    My luck was holding. I had been at London, Minnesota, Harvard and McGill during periods of unusual excitement, creativity and leadership in each case. When I arrived at MIT in 1954 it was widely considered to have one of the best, if notthebest, department of economics in the world, with such stars as Paul Samuelson, Bob Solow, Evsey Domar, Everett Hagen, Charlie Kindleberger, Bob Bishop, Carey Brown, Max Millikan, Rupert Maclaurin, Richard Eckaus, Walt Rostow, Elspeth Rostow; and in the School of Industrial Management, Eli Shapiro, Robert Meadows, and others. In the new Center for International Studies, apart...

  9. 5 The Regional Factor and Misdevelopment: Latin America, 1959-67
    (pp. 96-118)

    As we crossed the Texas border on our way to Austin for our trial semester, I remarked to Jean, “You know, the thing I dread is all the boring parties we’ll be forced to attend. They want me to stay, so obviously we are going to be lionized.” We rented a rather nasty little house in the northeast of Austin, settled into the routine of teaching and research, and explored the pleasant town and the beautiful surrounding countryside. After about a month I suddenly realized we werenotbeing lionized, and I pointed this out to Jean: “We haven’t been...

  10. 6 The Human Resource and Distribution Factors: The 1960s
    (pp. 119-140)

    The other two roads I followed during the sixties were both relatively new, not only to me but to the economics profession as a whole. The first of these led to growing insistence on more equitable distribution of the pie, as well as making the pie grow, to assure reasonably quick and significant improvements in living standards of the majority of the populations of developing countries. The second led to growing emphasis on human resource development, as distinct from investment in plant and equipment and associated technical progress.

    By the end of the 1950s almost everyone engaged in the international...

  11. 7 The New Approaches of the 1970s
    (pp. 141-168)

    In September 1969 I was invited to Stockholm to participate in the United Nations Expert Group on Social Policy and Planning for Development. The chairman was to have been Gunnar Myrdal, but he was involved in other matters and could not attend all the meetings. Consequently Gunnar and I were appointed co-chairmen. “This Expert Group turned out to be a landmark in the history of the United Nations” involvement in development. It succeeded in pulling together the various ideas that had emerged during the 19605 into the concept of the Unified Approach to Development Policy and Planning.

    The formation of...

  12. 8 Africa and Foreign Aid, 1967–78
    (pp. 169-200)

    Until my return to Canada in 1967, Africa, except for Libya and Egypt, was still “the dark continent” to me. Nor had I been engaged in helping to administer a foreign aid agency. In the late 1960s and 1970s, I became deeply involved in both.

    During his official visit to Expo‘67, Charles de Gaulle made his famous speech from the balcony of Montreal‘s Hotel de Ville, ending with “vive le Québec — vive le Québec libre”. Ottawa promptly informed him that he was not welcome in Ottawa, and his state visit was cancelled. In reply, de Gaulle brought pressure on the...

  13. 9 Planning Regional Development in Canada
    (pp. 201-217)

    I mentioned earlier that my experience of working with the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism in the summer of 1965 instilled in me an urge to return to Canada and find some way of participating in policy-making in my own country. I was especially eager to tackle problems of regional disparities, which I felt must be solved if Canada were to survive as a nation. An invitation from the University of Montreal to join its Department of Economics in the fall of 1967 seemed to provide the ideal vehicle for achieving this objective. Then in 1968 another event openned...

  14. 10 The 1980s: Synthesis into a “New” New Approach
    (pp. 218-248)

    Towards the end of the 1970s there occurred a conjuncture of events that confronted me once again with divergent ways and set me on less travelled roads — “way leads on to way”, as Robert Frost wrote.

    At the end of 1978 I retired from the University of Ottawa. A submission by the University to the Canada Council seeking finance for a vast five-year program of research on economic development under my direction had been turned down after protracted negotiation. There was nothing specific to hold me in Canada. Jean had lived for thirty years in countries of my choosing, and...

  15. 11 The Continuing Quest
    (pp. 249-270)

    I have tried in this book to take the reader by the hand and lead him or her along a twisted, ever-diverging and sometimes bumpy road. We have followed some fifty-five years of a career directed mainly towards solving economic and social problems in several dozen countries, at vastly differing stages of development, and in all major regions of the world. There have been trials and tribulations along the way, but a great deal of stimulation and satisfaction as well. At least I have never found the journey boring. I hope the reader can say the same.

    In this final...

  16. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 271-276)
  17. Index of names
    (pp. 277-280)
  18. Index of Institutions
    (pp. 281-283)