Colonialism and Industrialization: A Critique of Lewis
M. Shahid Alam
May 1, 2004
Review of Radical Political Economics, pp. 217-240, Spring 2004
This paper presents a critique of W. Arthur Lewis' economic explanation of the division of the world into industrial and agricultural countries. First, Lewis' claim that industrialization in the tropics was held back by small markets and adverse factoral terms of trade is flawed in its logic, and lacks empirical support as well. Second, his rejection of the imperialist origins of poverty is poorly argued, and his claim that colonial policies did not differ from policies of sovereign countries is not supported even by his own evidence. He also ignores the strong correlation between loss of sovereignty and poor growth performance.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: Industrialization, Industry, Manufacturing, Manufactures, Colonialism, Imperialism, Economic growth, Market size, Terms of Trade, Economic backwardness, Arthur Lewis, W. A. Lewis
JEL Classification: N10, O14, O50
Date posted: December 11, 2006 ; Last revised: March 10, 2013
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