Gunnar Myrdal and Asian Drama in Context

25 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2018

See all articles by Ravi Kanbur

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: January 2018


This paper attempts to understand Asian Drama in the context of the development debates of its time, and in terms of the sensibilities that Gunnar Myrdal-the brilliant economic theorist and philosopher of knowledge, and the Swedish politician-brought to the conceptualization of the problems and prospects of development. The paper covers: (i) what Gunnar Myrdal brought to the analysis of development from his long, varied and distinguished academic and practitioner career; (ii) the development terrain in the mid-twentieth century; and (iii) how Asian Drama lay on that terrain and in the remaining years of Gunnar Myrdal's continued eventful life. The two central questions posed in the paper are: (i) How did Gunnar Myrdal's broad experience and perspective influence Asian Drama? (ii) How did Asian Drama influence the development debate?

Suggested Citation

Kanbur, Ravi, Gunnar Myrdal and Asian Drama in Context (January 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12590. Available at SSRN:

Ravi Kanbur (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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