Pinochet's Economists: The Chicago School of Economics in Chile

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Overview

This book tells the extraordinary story of the Pinochet regime's economists, known as the "Chicago Boys." It explores the roots of their ideas and their sense of mission, following their training as economists at the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. After their return to Chile, the "Chicago Boys" took advantage of the opportunity afforded them by the 1973 military coup to launch the first radical free market strategy implemented in a developing country. The ideological strength of their mission and the military authoritarianism of General Pinochet combined to transform an economy that, following the return to democracy, has stabilized and is now seen as a model for Latin America. This book, written by a political scientist, examines the neo-liberal economists and their perspective on the market. It also narrates the history of the transfer of ideas from the industrialized world to a developing country, which will be of particular interest to economists.

"A fascinating, masterful, generally objective, critical examination of Chilean economic development primarily between 1973-94. Focuses on the role of the Chicago School in reshaping the economic structure and destiny of Chile during the Pinochet, Aylwin, and Frei presidencies. Describes the rise to prominence of the Chicago School actors in the Pinochet government, the implantation of the Chicago School in Chile, the two phases of power of the Chicago School actors, the progress towards a stable economy, and the return to democracy. Concludes 'that the Chicago revolution has left an indelible stamp on Chilean society's complex route towards modernity' (p. 280)"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Valdés, who is deeply critical of the Chicago School for its lack of social content and its influence in Chilean public life, has written an important history of an elite group of economists and their allies among Chile's conservative business elite." American Historical Review

"Based on extensive research in the archives of the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and the Agency of International Development, the book shows how the transmission of sconomic ideas was encouraged and fostered..." Foreign Affairs

"Pinochet's Economists gives a fascinating account of the conditions favoring ideological transfer, the specific events and actors involved in it, and the conditions that facilitated the initial flourishing and subsequent reproduction of neoliberalism in Chile." Latin American Research Review

"... a well-documented and well-argued book on the very interesting and important experience of the Chicago Boys, the international transfer of ideas, and the efforts of intellectuals to shape basic social and economic policies by using those ideas." The Annals of the American Academy

"...god examples of Americanists...whose work takes in more of the Amaericas." Brian Finnegan, American Studies International

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Authoritarians without a project 16
2 Ideological transfer 38
3 The Chicago School of Economics 52
4 The actors of ideological transfer 81
5 The contracts between ICA, Chicago, and the Universidad Catolica 109
6 The Chile Project and the birth of the Chicago Boys 127
7 The implantation of the Chicago School in Chile 162
8 The export of the Chicago tradition 181
9 In search of politics 201
10 The elusive hegemony 218
11 Under the Unidad Popular 241
Conclusion 253
Notes 281
Index 323
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