The following study was prepared with the purpose in mind of exposing and clearing up some frequent confusion and misconceptions existing among Latin American experts about fundamental concepts of growth, standards of living, future potentialities, accumulated wealth, as well as inflationary problems in connection with the area's economic development.
There seems to exist some evidence that in the past few years too much has been written and said about Latin American economic development without the benefit of statistical data. Frequently the latter — when used at all — have been misinterpreted and unpleasant data were omitted with a consequent distortion of the truth. Writers in other disciplines have then built on these findings and further distortions of the Latin American picture have resulted. It also has become very fashionable to theorize and perhaps in that process to make up some facts that will fit the theory to be developed, generally the pet project of the investigator.