VOL. 3, NO. 3, PGS. 10–17


The Way To Go About Achieving Economic Development
A conversation with David Ellerman

This interview was conducted by Javier Toro.

David Ellerman is a Fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study and a visiting scholar at the University of California at Riverside and the University of Ljubljana. He is the author of Helping People Help Themselves: From the World Bank to an Alternative Philosophy of Development Assistance.

What does economic development entail in social terms?

Firstly, it is important to distinguish “economic development” from “poverty alleviation.” Poverty can be alleviated by discovering oil or by having large remittances from labor migration to a developed country, and in neither case, does that constitute or automatically lead to economic development.

Development is a form of social learning; learning to make and do things that lead to modernization and industrialization. And learning is largely a self-motivated autonomous activity that cannot be imposed from the outside —although people may quickly learn how to go through the “motions” to get more aid or assistance from helping agencies instead of learning to help themselves.

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