Date of Award

Fall 2000

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Bruce Elmslie


This thesis critically reviews the literature on economic growth and development focusing on the interconnections, strengthens and weaknesses of both branches. Questions arise if growth and development models have been of any relevance to developing countries. The experience with International Financial Institutions (IFIs), such as the World Bank and the IMF, is also focused on to corroborate the assertion that the alternative answer based on stabilization-structural adjustments, sponsored by these agencies, has not been useful as a reasonable way to solve the most prominent problems of developing countries. It is concluded that both the World Bank and the IMF recipes and the predictions and policy implications of growth and development theories, as far as strongly based on physical capital accumulation, have been incomplete tools to foster sound growth and development strategies in the developing world. An alternative perspective is chosen (and evidence is provided to support it) focusing on the new developments of both growth and development theories as well as on the prospects of the new political economy literature, to establish a meaningful way to help developing countries to get out of the obstacles to development. Based on the lines of the new literature on growth, development and political economy, the main conclusion of the thesis translates in offering reasonable ways to give the right incentives to governments and policy-makers in developing countries in their attempts to foster economic growth and development.