During the early nineteen sixties the famed development economist, Albert Hirschman negotiated with the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development, part of the World Bank group, the financial support that he needed for an extended visit to several WB development projects scattered throughout the poor areas of the world. The document where he reports his visit was the matter of much controversy between the IBRD staff and Hirschman. One of the major points of disagreement was the latter´s refusal to employ the technique of cost-benefit analysis, then very popular at the WB, as a measure of the success of a project.
This paper published in 2004 by professor Ana Maria Bianchi of the Faculty of Economics of the University of São Paulo offers more in this series on the work and considerable contributions of the great economist and social scientist Albert Hirschman who died on Monday of this week in Princeton New Jersey. (Also see the earlier homage that appeared here “Earth, receive an honoured guest. In Memory of Albert O. Hirschman” at http://wp.me/psKUY-2DJ )