The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Stephanie Blankenburg
  • José Gabriel Palma
  • Fiona Tregenna
Reference work entry


Structuralist analysis advocates a focus on a system in its totality and on the interrelations between its elements rather than on individual elements in isolation: for instance, understanding the world economy as a system within which the centre and periphery are intrinsically linked, with many economic problems of the periphery deriving from that interaction. Structuralist development economics, as associated with, for example, Raúl Prebisch and Celso Furtado, essentially turns on two phenomena considered inherent to development in countries of the periphery that export almost exclusively commodities: foreign-exchange constrained growth and the tendency towards deterioration in the terms of trade.


Agency Business cycles Centre and periphery Class Comparative advantage Complementary capital Cost-push inflation Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Economic development Foreign exchange-constrained growth Furtado, C. Gains from trade Haberler, G. Heckscher–Ohlin–Samuelson trade theory Import-substituting industrialization Institutions International division of labour Periphery Perroux, F. Prebisch, R. Sectoral growth Sombart, W. Specialization Stages of growth Structural change Structuralism Structures Terms of trade 

JEL Classifications

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. ECLAC (United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean). 1964. El desarrollo económico de América Latina en la post-guerra. Santiago: UN (CEPAL).Google Scholar
  2. ECLAC. 1969. El pensamiento de la CEPAL. Santiago: Editorial Universitaria.Google Scholar
  3. Fajnzylber, F. 1983. La industrialización trunca de América Latina. México: Nueva Imagen.Google Scholar
  4. Frank, A.G. 1967. Capitalism and underdevelopment in Latin America. New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
  5. Furtado, C. 1995. Retour à la vision globale de Perroux et Prebisch. Grenoble: Presse Universitaires Grenoble.Google Scholar
  6. Haberler, G. 1961. Terms of trade and economic development. In Economic development of Latin America, ed. H.S. Ellis. New York: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  7. Hirschman, A. 1971. A bias for hope. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Kaldor, N. 1957. La inflación chilena y la estructura de la producción. Panorama Económico 180: 738–752.Google Scholar
  9. Kindleberger, C.P. 1956. The terms of trade: A European case study. New York: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  10. Love, J.L. 1977. Center–periphery and unequal exchange: Origins and growth of an economic doctrine. Houston: LASA.Google Scholar
  11. McCombie, J.S., and P. Thirlwall. 1994. Economic growth and the balance of payments constraints. London: St. Martin Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Noyola, J. 1957. Inflación y desarrollo económico en Chile y México. Panorama Económico 170: 391–399.Google Scholar
  13. Palma, J.G. 1978. Dependency: A formal theory of underdevelopment, or a methodology for the analysis of concrete situations of underdevelopment? World Development 6: 881–924.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Palma, J.G. 2005. Four sources of de-industrialisation and a new concept of the ‘Dutch Disease’. In Beyond reforms: Structural dynamic and macroeconomic vulnerability, ed. J.A. Ocampo. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Perroux, F. 1939. Pour un approfondissement de la notion de structure. In Mélanges économiques et sociaux offerts à Emile Witmeur. Paris: Librairie du Recueuil Sirey.Google Scholar
  16. Pinto, A. 1963. El análisis de la inflación: ‘estructuralistas’ y ‘monetaristas’; un recuento. Economia 79: 15–30.Google Scholar
  17. Prebisch, R. 1963. Hacia una dinámica del desarrollo económico. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica.Google Scholar
  18. Rodríguez, O. 2006. El estructuralismo latinoamericano. Mexico: Siglo XXI.Google Scholar
  19. Singer, H. 1949. Postwar price relations between underdeveloped and industrialized countries. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
  20. Sunkel, O. 1963. La inflación chilena: un enfoque heterodoxo. In Sunkel et al. (1963).Google Scholar
  21. Sunkel, O. 1991. El desarrollo desde dentro. Un enfoque neoestructuralista para la América Latina. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica.Google Scholar
  22. Sunkel, O., G. Maynard, D. Seers, and J. Olivera. 1963. Inflación y estructura económica. Buenos Aires: Paidós.Google Scholar
  23. Taylor, L. 1983. Structuralist macroeconomics. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie Blankenburg
    • 1
  • José Gabriel Palma
    • 1
  • Fiona Tregenna
    • 1
  1. 1.