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The economics and the political economy of new-developmentalism

Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira

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This paper resumes new developmentalism - a theoretical framework being defined since the early 2000s to understand middle-income countries. It contains a political economy, the beginning of a microeconomics and a macroeconomics. It is originated in development economics or classical developmentalism and in post-Keynesian macroeconomics. While classical developmentalism asked for protection of the manufacturing industry, new developmentalism asks for the levelling of the playing field, which the tendency to the cyclical and chronic overvaluation of the exchange rate denies. New developmentalism is focused in the current account and the corresponding exchange rate. It offers a new theory of the determination of the exchange rate, based on the distinction between a value and a price of the foreign money, and on the tendency to the overvaluation of the exchange rate. Counterintuitively, it argues that middle-income countries do not require foreign finance, and, so, it defends that developing countries show a balanced current account, or, if it faces the Dutch disease, a current account surplus proportional to the severity of the disease.