Celso Furtado

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Celso Monteiro Furtado (Pombal, July 26, 1920 – Rio de Janeiro, November 20, 2004) was an important Brazilian economist and one of the most distinguished intellectuals of his country during the 20th century. His work focuses on development and underdevelopment and on the persistence of poverty in peripheral countries throughout the world. He is viewed, along with Raúl Prebisch, as one of the main formulators of economic structuralism, an economics school that is largely identified with CEPAL, which achieved prominence in Latin America and other developing regions during the 1960s and 1970s and sought to stimulate economic development through governmental intervention, largely inspired on the views of John Maynard Keynes. As a politician, Furtado was appointed Minister of Planning (Goulart government) and Minister of Culture (Sarney government).


Born in Pombal, a city set in the semi-arid region of the state of Paraíba, Celso Furtado moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1939, to study Law, and graduated from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) in 1944. That same year, he was conscripted to the Brazilian Expeditionary Force to fight in Italy, during World War II, alongside the Allies. Seeing countries destroyed in post-war Europe had a profound impact on him, leading to the decision that he would study Economics: he enrolled in a doctorate program at the University of Paris (Sorbonne), in 1946, and presented a thesis on the economy of Brazil during the......
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