Harberger's Record


To the Editors of the Crimson:

I have appreciated the series of three articles (Jan. 30, 31, Feb. 1) by Celia W. Dugger concerning the future of the Harvard Institute for Intenational Development (HIID), related to the question of the possible appointment of Arnold Harberger to replace the present Director on his retirement set for June 1980.

Ms. Dugger's articles have elaborated some very important questions concerning the nature of relations between the U.S. and the Third World, and have been thought-provoking.

During a thirteen-year period (1966-78). I spent a cumulative nine years in former French Africa as a planner and manager of many development projects, employed by both public and private organizations. In its relatively rigid economic approach to the problems of development, HIID has been, for the past few years, viewed by many of my colleagues and myself as unfortunately disappointing in its contribution to professional thinking while understanding and conceptions elsewhere expanded regarding what are the critical components of the development process--only some of which are economic.

Speaking personally, I believe that the appointment of Mr. Harberger would be a mistake, distinguished economist that he is. The development community would be better served by HIID with the appointment of a Director who is identified with a more expansive and extensive view of the development equation, and with a less technical, purely economic "cost/benefit" reputation.


In her third and final installment, Ms. Dugger reported that the present Director, Mr. Gordon, "...doubts the HIID would advise the Central African Empire...under the present government." Surely, he must have meant to refer to the government of former Emperor Jean-Badel Bokassa, which was overturned in September 1979, more than five months ago. The nation is now once again the Central African Republic, headed by President David Dacko, who is generally judged to be a benevolent leader. Former Emperor Bokassa is in exile in the Ivory Coast.

A final observation, on another topic, regarding the excellent "Silhouette" of William Burroughs by Paul Attanasio (Feb. 1. pg. 2): In paragraph 2, The Crimson prepetuates a widely-repeated misnomer by referring to the Moroccan city of "Tangiers." It is Algiers, with an "s" that is the captial of Algeria. The singular TANGIER (no "s") is where Burroughs lived and wrote for many years. In French, the city is "Tanger" (tawn-JAY); the city was named by ancient Phoenicians, as something like "Tahn-ja," which is how many contemporary Arabic-or better Berber-speaking Moroccans refer to it.

(The Sultanate of Tangier, by the way, was the first foreign power to recognize diplomatically the newly-independent United States of America in the 18th century. The last time I saw his correspondence to President George Washington--a hand written copy of the original--it was framed and hanging on a wall of the Sultan's old palace within the walls of the Cabash of Tangier. The Sultan made a gift of his palace to the U.S.A.--thus establishing America's very first diplomatic property abroad.) Joe D. Kimmins