The 1949 World Bank mission to Colombia and the competing visions of Lauchlin Currie (1902-1993) and Albert Hirschman (1915-2012)

Sandilands, Roger J (2015) The 1949 World Bank mission to Colombia and the competing visions of Lauchlin Currie (1902-1993) and Albert Hirschman (1915-2012). History of Economic Thought and Policy, 2015 (1). pp. 21-38. ISSN 2280-188X

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Abstract

As recounted in detail in Michele Alacevich’s (2009) The Political Economy of the World Bank: The Early Years, Lauchlin Currie was chosen in 1949 to direct the first of the World Bank’s comprehensive survey missions – to Colombia (see also the biography of Currie in Sandilands 1990). After his Report was submitted, Currie returned to Colombia to advise on the implementation of his own recommendations. These included the setting up of a national planning board. In 1952 Albert Hirschman (1915-2012) was hired by Colombia’s central bank as an adviser to this board, with strong links to the World Bank.