Economic Research
its methodology and technique

-by Hermann Max-

translated by D. Ohmans
(c) copyright 2008

Text imprint Bogotá, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 3rd ed. 1971

                     SECOND PART
          The Technique of Investigation

IN THIS part of the book we deal with the technique of economic investigation,
or that is with the practical procedures that should be followed to carry an
investigation in the field of this science to completion.
    The technique of investigation is a necessary complement to the
methodology, and is so in a double sense: as much for the completion of the
investigation itself as also for the other part, no less important for this
work, which is the presentation of the results.
    There is an entire series of practices, rules and principles which the
investigator should observe in performing a scientific work, whatever may
be the method applied. The value of his or her work depends in large part on
the control which those techniques exert.
    Yet an investigation is worthless while it occurs in the abstract sphere
of an investigator's thought. To give it concrete form and to communicate its
results and conclusions via a written text, one should also keep in mind
certain templates to which the presentation of the work should be adjusted and
whose observation can contribute much to its success.
    It is especially important for the student to know how to execute a work
of investigation, what are the means and resources that may be available and
how to utilize them. For him or her, the direct importance of the control of
these techniques resides in the fact that, to obtain the level or title awarded
by the university, (s)he shall have to prepare a thesis in the form of a work
of investigation, through which she should prove her intellectual maturity
and her capacity to think with scientific criteria.
    Naturally, not all those who dedicate themselves to the study of economics
do so with the intention of becoming investigators. Nevertheless, whatever
may be the career that the student decides to follow--that of future
university professor, of economist in the service of important national and
international institutions, or of the person who devotes herself to the
practical life of business--the discipline she acquires through control of
the techniques of investigation will be useful to her in many situations that
may be presented. It may be one has to prepare a university course, or write a
book, or that one is occupied in the elaboration of scientific studies on
economic problems, or simply that it is demanded she prepare reports about
the market situation, the general march of business or the branch of her own
transactions in particular. Fundamentally important is that her works inspire
confidence by being well-made technically and not the product of improvisation.
    The advice and indications given in the chapters that follow are directed,
then, in the first place, to those students committed to the preparation of
their senior theses. But beyond this in general they can also serve anyone
who, with the required scientific preparation,devotes themself to a work
of investigation.

    A. Selection and Formulation of the Theme

The person of science who wishes to write an article or essay or book upon
something related to her specialty does not have to seek a subject; it is
offered to her by itself. For the student, sometimes it is not easy to find
something that could be the object for an investigation and that will do as a
theme for one's senior thesis. Yet knowing in advance that the presentation
of such a thesis is an indispensable requirement for pursuing the role of
graduate and obtaining the title conferred by the university, it is well that
the student, with sufficient foresight--let us say, already in the third year of
her studies--begins to familiarize herself with this idea and seriously examine
the diverse alternatives which her own inclinations suggest or that in the
course of her studies excite her interest.

1. General observations. Normally, the student should prepare her thesis
or draft a report in the last year of her studies, in order to be able to
present herself for the comprehensive exam at the first opportunity after
the end of that year and before becoming definitely committed to her
professional work. Therefore, programs of study in the economics schools
should not overload the last year with obligatory courses and should instead
offer the student all sorts of facilities so that they can comply with the
task of investigation. Experience teaches that it is an inadvisable practice
to postpone the development of the thesis until the end of one's studies. The
further the student goes from the university atmosphere and the more one is
absorbed by their profession, the more difficult it will be to find the
necessary time and concentration to accomplish a serious work of investigation,
and there are not a few who, in this manner, have had to forever renounce their
    The selection of the theme, then, should be accomplished as early as
possible, with the goal that the student can elaborate her thesis while being
in direct contact with the professor from the division and the director of the
applicable seminar. Yet, how to choose the theme, and who should do it? There
are always students who believe that the theme of the thesis should be
given to them by a professor. They are the mentally lazy and lacking in
imagination who view their studies as a bothersome obligation to which they
must submit, because their parents want it so or because they think the
university title can guarantee them a lucrative career. The professor,
naturally, could suggest a subject which, as also is natural, always or
generally will pertain to the field of their specialty. But it would be
difficult to awaken in the student an intense interest in the idea of the
theme that is necessary to make the record a work of true value. That can
occur only exceptionally, when we deal with a special case in which, already
from the past, there exist close relations of collaboration between the
professor and the student, such that the work of the student, on the basis of
a proposed theme, can form an important part in a wider plan of investigation.
    There still exists in certain areas the custom--rare and archaic--of
obliging the students to prepare their senior theses on topics they draw at
random from a set of subjects of diverse sorts. Of course, this system is not
the most indicated for proving a student's intellectual capacity. The fact
that one is obliged to spend time and effort in work upon a theme which
a priori has no personal bearing and which even absolutely does not
correspond to one's own interests and inclinations, can provoke in them
psychological effects in no way appropriate for helping their work. It is not
difficult to imagine that the result of an investigatory work carried to
conclusion under these conditions must be very distinct from what it would be
had the student been able to choose for herself a theme related to material to
which she feels attracted and to which she can apply all her interest and
dedication to make of her investigation a good and useful work.
    In reality, the theme of the senior thesis, on principle, should be
selected by the student herself. In doing so she should allow herself to be
guided by her personal inclinations above all. If she feels within herself
the vocation of becoming a professional investigator in the field of the
economic and social sciences, she will select a theme that will give her the
opportunity of developing and testing her specific capacities. If she wants
to enroll in a public institution, she would relate her investigation to what
will eventually be her future occupation. And if one prefers the practice of
the business life, it is logical that they will seek for their thesis a topic
that is related to those activities.
    The student who understands the true importance that it has for the
execution of a scientific work, not residing only in the deepening of her
positive understanding but instead still more in the strengthening of the
consciousness of her personality, will have no difficulty in finding an
appropriate theme for her investigation which satisfies her and from which
she shall have the security of studying it with pleasure and interest.

2. A clear definition of the topic. Now then, when the student thinks she
has decided upon a theme she would like to develop for her thesis, the
moment has arrived for approaching the professor of the respective branch or
the director of the seminar with whom one is going to work, to ask his
opinion. These persons--generally overloaded with duties--cannot always lend
to the matter proposed to them by the student, the attention which that
awaits. Therefore it is advisable for the student to consistently present the
clearest idea possible of what she wants. Observation of the following
points will be useful to this effect.

a) The topic should not be of a general character. One cannot approach a
matter in a senior thesis in all its vast amplitude; the subject should be
limited to a determinate aspect of it, susceptible to being studied in depth
and in such a way that the investigation can bring something positive and
original. Themes like the following: "The commercial bank," "the economic
cycle," "industrial rationalization," "agricultural credit," and others along
these lines are not apt for a thesis. Apart from that very abundant
bibliographies exist on these materials, it would be impossible for the
student to treat them in an exhaustive form within the limited dimensions of a
thesis. Yet one could very well focus her investigation towards one or
another particular problem or aspect within these materials. It would be
interesting, e.g., to study "The organization and functioning of mercantile
credit," yet not in a general way but instead within the nation where the
student lives or around a group of countries about which sufficient
information can be obtained. The studies of the economic cycle are interesting
and important. The bibliography upon this theme is immense. Nevertheless, much
remains to be investigated as to the way in which the economic cycle affects
the diverse Latin American nations. A work on this theme, limited to only one
country and a determinate period, can be very appropriate for a thesis. The
concept of "rationalization" is relatively new for the Latin American
countries. There exists a vast literature about this in English and German.
What is still lacking is an adequate expression of what is included in this
concept and its importance for industry in Latin America. Monographs dedicated
to this material could constitute works of great value. Agricultural credit is
one of the most important forms of credit in every economy. In many Latin
American nations its organization and functioning are not satisfactory. To
write a thesis on this theme in its general aspect could only give a very
superficial result. On the other hand, to limit the study to a specific case,
with the object of highlighting the efficient way for this credit to function
in one country or the defects shown by its organization in another, permits
the student to accomplish an intensive investigation with fruitful results.
Problems relating to economic development offer the student a vast field of

b) The limitation of the topic to a restricted and clearly circumscribed
subject also has its importance from another point of view. The student who
prepares her thesis in the last year of her studies, has to count in advance
upon a fixed duration for the completion of the work. The same would
occur if later one resolves to pursue postgraduate studies for broadening
and deepening, in which case the term for the presentation of a dissertation
is also fixed and at times peremptory. And although the student is not subject
to much regulation in this respect, it will always be in her self-interest to
finish the work of investigation within a reasonable interval not excessively
long. Therefore, in choosing a topic, the time available for its elaboration
should be a factor which it is well to remember.
    No less important is that the student should form an idea in advance, even
though it may be only approximate, of the extension that her thesis will
have. Normally, a senior thesis should not exceed a maximum of 100 letter-
sized pages, typewritten with double spacing. It is perfectly possible to
achieve a work of this length within the generally limited duration faced by
the student. It furthermore eases the labor of the directing professors, who
at times are found excessively encumbered by having to read and correct
various drafts simultaneously.
    The student should be aware, then, that the thesis will not be valued by
weight or its size, but instead by its content. The result of an investigation
presented in a work of 20 or 30 pages can be of much greater value than a
study of a ten times greater length. In some North American universities, the
economics faculties limit the papers from the students to a fixed maximum of
pages. And we recall that Einstein's entire theory of relativity is expressed
in three mathematical equations which barely reach the middle of the page of a
normal-sized book.

c) The possibility of obtaining sufficient documentation is another
thing the student should consider in selecting her topic. In some cases it
will be relatively easy to find what is needed, when the documentation or
bibliography is limited to texts written in the native language. But the
matter becomes more difficult when the student feels forced to also refer to
foreign sources of information written in a language she does not control.
Nevertheless, in the majority of cases, consultation of such sources will be
inevitable to assure the scientific value of an investigation. For the
economic and social sciences, in today's world, the most important languages
are English, German and French. It is true that many works written in those
languages have been translated into Spanish, and there are publishing houses
which in this regard fulfill a labor worthy of praise. But generally these
translations are published with sufficient lag, such that they do not always
help with consultation on actual problems. That information can only be gained
from recently published works or from scientific journals. If the student
cannot speak a foreign language nor has the possibility of falling back on
persons of her acquaintance who might help to search and indicate the sources
of information which are needed and make translations of them, even if
abbreviated, she cannot select a theme for her work for which reference to
those foreign sources would be indispensable. Certainly, that signifies for
the student who never has struggled to learn a foreign language, a severe
limitation that will be felt not only in the instance of which we speak here,
but in all one's future professional activity.

d) The newsworthiness of the theme is not an indispensable condition, though
it could have a certain importance with regard to the future professional
possibilities which the student has in mind upon choosing her topic, or
when one tries to elucidate questions or problems that occupy the public's
attention, as e.g., the causes of an inflationary development, the social
conditions for a politics of economic development, the significance and
reach of a governmental action plan and others similar.

e) The scientific character of the topic is not subject to any restrictive
preconditions. One who finds interest in theoretic thought will be inclined
to develop a theme in that vein. Rarely, the student preparing her senior
thesis will already have attained the intellectual maturity that will permit
her to establish her own theory. Yet it is perfectly possible to have
sufficient judgment to submit a dominant theory in economic thought to a
critical analysis with the goal of determining whether it has general or only
limited validity and whether it is or is not applicable to different countries
from those whose specific developmental conditions had given rise to the
theory. Investigations of this nature are of particular importance for the
Latin American nations, in whose universities the teaching of economics has
been guided much more in the last decades by theories born on other continents
than by a clear conception of the different necessities and conditions that
characterize the economy in these countries.(1)
    Investigation into any economic or social matter in Latin America very
often confronts serious difficulties due to the lack or insufficiency of
historical monographs. We have here a field of enormous scientific and
practical importance, which offers an immense variety of possibilities for
interesting and highly valuable studies, especially appropriate for a student
thesis. The faculties of economic science should conscientiously foster this
class of works which, additionally, occur in an excellent form to be executed
within a wider program of investigation and with the collaboration of various
students, each one of whom could take as her charge a limited partial theme.
It goes without saying that even for these cases one must follow what has
been said before or, that is, that the partial topics should only be offered to
students who may have a true interest in unfolding an historical study.
Seminars may do much to awaken and encourage this interest, yet the
definitive decision depends on the student herself.
    It is hardly necessary to say that subjects of a practical character
are offered in an abundant selection. Since in all economics schools the
majority of the students are preparing for the practical life of business,
that type of thesis will also predominate over those of another character.
Its importance is in that well-selected subjects can serve the students in
acquiring special insights that will be of great utility in their profession.
    There are topics that, by their nature, demand a combination of the
three ways of approaching the object of investigation. For example, a
monograph about the Control of Exterior Commerce in a specific country--
an extraordinarily interesting theme and very appropriate for a senior
thesis--these days requires a theoretical exposition of the conditions which
have given cause for that system to be implemented and the functions it must
accomplish and which justify its existence. To this must be added an
historical description of the manner in which it has developed, describing the
modifications it has undergone over the course of years and the favorable and
unfavorable factors which have contributed to make of it what it is in
actuality. An objective analysis of the endowments of control over reality the
organism has and of the way that it exercises its functions, will be the third
part of the thesis and that corresponding to the practical aspect of the
    A thesis developed along these lines will already have fulfilled a very
useful goal; it could represent an important source of information and offer
many reference points to other investigations, in the style of the articles
which are published in encyclopedias. Yet from a senior thesis one still
requires something more. In this case: a judgment original with the author
as to the system of control she has described and analyzed; a critical
examination of the way it has been applied; a discussion of its advantages
and its disadvantages, its merits and its defects; a pronouncement about its
utility as a permanent institution or only as a transitory medium; practical
possibilities and suggestions which are relevant; and finally, in synthetic
form, a summary of the conclusions to which the author has arrived in her
    With this last part, the literary structure of the thesis is completed,
and if its content mirrors its form, it complies with all that, as an
essential requisite, should be required from a thesis.

f) What is essential in a senior thesis, whatever its object may be, is
that the author makes of it a positive and finally personal contribution to
the branch of knowledge with which she deals. Works of a purely descriptive
character, which do not give occasion for demonstrating the scientific
credentials of the author, should not be accepted as senior theses, or only
in exceptional cases designated as such by the respective faculty. Therefore,
the last and most important question that the student has to confront and
on whose answer her decision as to a specific topic definitely depends, is this:
What is the objective of my investigation? and, what is it that I want to
emphasize and prove? It is not enough that the student choose a theme that
she likes and which, by complying with the established regulations, may
be accepted by the professor of the branch, the director of the seminar and
the dean. The student should arrive at a clear judgment as to the why of her
investigation, as to the intention pursued with it and the idea that
will have to orient her during her entire work.
    Once this stage is completed, the student will be in the position of
giving clear definition to the goal of their investigation and of formulating
an adequate topic.

g) The title of a thesis, naturally, should be concise, yet at the same
time sufficiently clear as to give the reader a notion of what is covered.
Sometimes it is well to add a subtitle to the principal title which can be a
bit more explicit and which offers to the understanding something of the
purpose followed by the author. In the case of the example presented above,
the subject of a thesis on "The Control of Exterior Commerce in" (a specific
country), it could have the following as a subtitle: "Its theory, history and
practice. Considerations concerning the usefulness of definitely incorporating
it, or not, into the economic-institutional organization of the nation."
    A subtitle in this form has as object of awakening interest in the reader
for the "idea" of the work; and although it may not induce them to read the
entire work, at least it will tell them that the author formulates some
conclusions that may be interesting and would be worthwhile to know.

3. Formalities with which the student should comply. Before beginning
the work of investigation as such it is wise for the student to ensure that
the topic which she has chosen has not already been treated by another
student. If the idea for her thesis is original, she will not encounter any
difficulty in having it accepted. In other instances, especially when we speak
of monographs from specific institutions or industries, there could be
repetitions of the same subject. Generally the faculties of economic science
do not accept such projects or accept them only in exceptional cases, when
the student can show that the viewpoint proposed for developing her topic
is fundamentally distinct from that which had oriented the previous work.
    Once the theme is definitely approved by the competent persons (teaching
professor, seminar director, dean of the faculty), the student should ensure
the right of priority for the investigation. To this end they must
comment in the registry held by the faculty about the works in execution.
This inscription protects the student against the eventuality that the same
topic is selected by someone else interested. It is equally important to
correct the registry, if during the execution of the work it becomes
opportune to introduce changes that make it necessary to modify the theme.
    It is good not to bypass these formalities which avoid deceptions and
useless wastes of time and effort, when by reason of the rules a thesis has to
be refused.

    B. Preparatory Works

With the clear determination of the topic of a thesis, of its idea and of its
objective, ends the first stage of the work that the scholar proposes to
perform. Yet she still cannot begin its practical execution. Before doing this
one must outline a working plan, which should ensure them a perfect
systematization of the material that will be the object of their investigation.

1. Preparation of a working plan. The conception of this plan requires
time and much intense meditation. It cannot be done on the fly, since it
should express a logical and systematic ordering of the matter under
consideration and should serve the student as a guide during her entire
    Nevertheless, the schema of this plan will not be definite. Surely, during
the work itself, the student will see the necessity of introducing some
changes of minor importance into it. It can also happen that, upon unfolding
her topic, perspectives are suddenly opened that had not been taken into
account upon beginning her work, yet which seem to her of such importance
that she cannot fail to consider them for the very reason that they were not
foreseen in her original plan. If such a thing happens, the student should not
hesitate to affirm what her convictions dictate, but it is indispensable that
she previously notify her professor or tutor, and if the change implies a
modification of the subject, the registry too should be rectified, as has
already been said.
    Thus then, although the schema which the student should conceive before
fully entering the work itself can only be of a provisional character, it
should not thereby cease to be sufficiently detailed so that it could serve
her as the overall model for her work. In sticking to her schema, the student
subjects herself to a discipline that obliges her to follow a definite line
and that prevents deviating from the topic toward things not pertaining to the
case or totally losing sight of what had been her original object.

2. The division of the material. Every thesis, and in general every scientific
work destined for publication, should consist of three fundamental parts,
which are the following:

a) The introduction, which has as its goal to familiarize the reader with
the idea of the work. In it, the author will briefly explain the reasons she
has had for selecting her topic and the guiding purpose for the realization
of this investigation. One could also add, if it seemed indicated, preliminarily
and in a very general and summary form, what is essential from the conclusions
which were reached or that one hopes to reach.

b) The exposition of the subject comprises the principal body of the work.
It requires a careful systematization of the material, adapted in each
instance to the specific character of the theme. In some cases it will be
advisable to divide the exposition into two or more "parts." Each of these
parts will be divided into various "chapters," and those, in turn, into
sub-chapters, sections or paragraphs, according to what seems most convenient.
Each one of these subdivisions will include its corresponding title, and if
desired--something which is not indispensable--they can be given, the same as
the "parts" or the "chapters," an adequate numeration. It seems logical in
this case, as least in its purely aesthetic aspect, that the principal
divisions, the "parts" and the "chapters," follow Roman numerals or capital
letters, in as much as the Arabic digits and lower-case letters are employed
for the subdivisions into sections and paragraphs. Numeration in this style is
not indispensable, but the schema of the exposition should allow one to
clearly see that it was not done in an arbitrary manner, but instead in accord
with the norms of a perfected system. It is, additionally, a basic principle
which should be followed in every sort of scientific work: that, when the
subdivision of the text is more and better, the presentation is that much more
agreeable and it will be that much easier to comprehend the material.

c) The summary of the conclusions reached by the investigation will be
the last of the fundamental parts of the thesis. In it, the author shall give
to the results of her work a clear and synthetic formulation, whose reading
suffices to convey an idea of the work's content yet which, at the same time,
could allow the reader who lacks the time to read the entire work to more
slowly study those parts in which she is especially interested.

3. Model of a provisional schema. Returning to the example of a thesis
about the "Regulation of Foreign Trade," we can trace a model for what could
be the plan for a work of this nature.


What is the author's interest in this topic? What intention is followed in
this investigation? Towards what general conclusions can it hope to move?

                   First Chapter or Chapter I
    Theoretical considerations concerning the Regulation of Foreign Trade

         A. The great world crisis and its repercussions.

              1) On the nation's internal economy.

                   a) Mining;
                   b) Industry;
                   c) Agriculture;
                   d) Prices;
                   e) Occupation.

              2) On its external economy.

                   a) Exports;
                   b) Imports;
                   c) Balance of payments.

         B. The downfall of the gold standard and the development of
            Regulation of Foreign Trade.

         C. Theoretical justification for this system of control.

                   Second Chapter or Chapter II
    History of the Regulation of Foreign Trade for the nation

Subdivided according to the different epochs that can be distinguished in the
evolution of the control system.

                   Third Chapter or Chapter III
    Actual functioning of Regulation of Foreign Trade

Subdivided according to the diverse functions being performed by the organism
of control.

                   Fourth Chapter or Chapter IV
    Critical analysis of the institution of regulation

Subdivided in accord with the diverse vantage points from which the author
focuses on the problems related to the Regulation of Foreign Trade.

                   Fifth Chapter or Chapter V
                   Conclusions and suggestions

In this chapter would be expounded under A, and with corresponding numeration,
the conclusions to which the critical analysis of the previous chapter has
led, and under B similarly with corresponding numeration, the suggestions in
one or the other direction that the author feels able to make.

It is understood that the inserted schema is no more than a model, only a
possible shape among others for the systematization of this material. The
minimum that a provisional schema of this kind should contain, would be the
titles of the chapters; but it is very desirable that the student also try to
specify their content through an adequate subdivision in accordance with the
logical development of the theme, more or less in the style indicated above,
beneath Chapter I of the model.
    We reiterate that this is not easy, because it means, on the part of the
student, a profound penetration into the material and requires of her a mental
effort, which many do not feel capable of providing or that is simply
considered superfluous. Nevertheless, the most detailed possible outline of a
work plan will be of appreciable assistance for the student, which not only
will facilitate the job of advancing the work in a straight line and without
fanfare towards the goal that was established, but also would also save much
time that otherwise would be wasted in constantly correcting defects in the
structure of her work.
    It is worthwhile, then, to consider in advance how to structure and
organize the work through a schema in which the route to be taken in the
investigation shall be fixed in a logical manner and in all its different
stages. This work, conscientiously carried to completion, can occupy the
learner over several days, perhaps several weeks; it calls from her a great
capacity for concentration in order to intensely focus one's thoughts, at
least for one hour daily, on the problems one finds ahead; and one should
not consider themself finished until the student believes she has the
security that it is complete and will suffice.
    We insist on the fundamental importance of this preparatory work. The
student should dedicate all her attention to it; she should stimulate her
imaginative capacity, reflect, meditate and seek until finding that which best
will give adequate form to her plan. However difficult this may appear, for no
one will it be impossible to achieve, not even for those not accustomed to a
strict mental discipline. What they should do is: "think"; and thinking also
has its techniques.

4. The techniques of thinking. Thomas I. Watson, founder of the International
Business Machine Corp., had in his office, hanging from the wall within
his study, a square in which in large characters one single word "THINK"
was written.
    Truly, it is a word of great signification. It means: "THINK"; move your
brain; use it; it is the greatest wonder that God has given you; do not let it
    Thinking seems to be an easy matter; however, how many people are there
who really know how to think? The number of people who do not know what that
word means is incredible: persons who move and act as automatons; who do what
they do so as not to do it any more; who submit to rules and customs which,
once learned and adopted, are immutable for them; who in their spontaneous
reactions obey impulses they never shall be able to control; who live a routine
life in terrifyingly narrow straits, without being aware that all this means
the demise of their personality.
    The first principle in the technique of thinking is: open one's eyes,
look behind yourself, examine what is going on, reflect upon it and place the
question: Does it have to be like this or could it be better?
    The mere asking of the question suggests giving it an answer, and for that
one must exercise the imagination and "think."
    The second principle for the art of thinking is mental concentration on
a task or a problem with which one is concerned. It is of no avail to think
every moment or constantly about the issue, in the same fashion that occurs
when one feels haunted by a deep worry. On the contrary, one must think
about the issue involved only for a short while, half an hour or an hour, yet
in an intense and concentrated way, and then forget about it, until the next
day the same test is repeated, if possible at the same hour. Very soon one
will see that new ideas surge forth, that things begin to be clarified, and
what seemed very difficult to fix little by little loses its gravity. Ideas
are born from thought and the creative forces of concentrated meditation
are unlimited.
    There is a third principle in the technique of thinking, that may be the
most important, but also, due to people's ignorance, the least observed:
it consists in knowing how to mobilize the help of the subconscious. That
which the yogic philosophy has known for many centuries, for western science
was only discovered a few decades ago: the existence and the  functions of the
subconscious. And although there has been some advancement in the knowledge
of its essence and reality, still, the possibility of benefiting responsibly
from the powers residing in this marvelous faculty of the human soul has not
been explored in all its amplitude .
    According to the yogis, the subconscious has its organ in the nerve center
which in the West is called "solar plexus" and that others call the "abdominal
brain." Among its various and extremely important functions, the most notable
is its capacity to assist the process of thinking, clarifying ideas and
resolving problems. The mental concentration on a matter or problem, for which
one appeals consciously for the assistance of the subconscious, provokes
in it reactions which, not immediately but at an opportune moment, transmit
impulses to the brain where they translate into ideas and thoughts which the
person needs to resolve her affairs. Which hour is devoted to concentrated
meditation is immaterial, yet it is a good practice to engage in it before
going to bed and then disconnect completely from the problem. The subconscious
will continue "thinking" during sleep, and the ideas and solutions for which
one searched in vain with consciousness awake, shall present themselves in
a natural manner during the work of the next day.
    We believe that techniques for thinking, such as we have explained only
in their principal elements, are of fundamental importance for the student who
prepares the work plan for her investigation. We have already established that
that work requires an intense concentration over various days and weeks which
in practice means to mentally unfold the entire thesis, from the beginning to
the end and chapter by chapter, arranging the material in a methodical and
systematic form. The same techniques will also be of service to the student
during the exposition of her work, and once their efficacy has been experienced,
they will not be abandoned for the rest of one's life.

    C. Collection, Arrangement, and Preservation of Data and Examples

With the preparation of a provisional plan for the development of her topic,
the student has completed the second stage of her work. The third
consists of the collection of data and examples related to the subject, of the
critical examination of information and in the adoption of a system for
preservation and logical arrangement that permits utilizing this material
at any time.

1. The sources of information. Depending on the characteristics of the
theme, there exist three distinct methods for obtaining the information which
the student needs. It is really indispensable to know what has already been
written about the respective matter, in what sense it has been treated and
what is the opinion of the authors whom it is worthwhile to cite or take as
points of support for the thesis one wishes to defend. The student will find
such information in books and magazines. In other cases she will have to
revert to less easily accessible sources, such as collections of periodicals
and bulletins, public and private archives in which documents with historical
value are kept, technical reports and studies by national and international
institutions not destined for publication, etc. The third form of obtaining
information, the most direct, consists of personal interviews and on-site

a) Reading books. The economic literature has grown during the last
decades in such an extraordinary way that no specialist is capable of
informing herself or remaining informed about all that has been written or is
being written about the material of her specialty, though only in the most
important languages. The student who chooses for her thesis a subject related
to fiscal politics, let us say about the formation of an investment budget or
about a specific aspect of taxation politics, would have to consult an
extensive bibliography. She will not be able to limit herself to existing
works in Spanish, which are relatively sparse, but instead will have to refer
to works by English, North American, German, French, Italian authors and
eventually even those of other nationalities.
    Aside from the problem of whether one speaks other languages or does not,
they will immediately face the question: What to read and how to read?
    Meetings with the professor of the respective department would help her to
make a choice among the principal authors, whose works are to be found in
libraries. Yet naturally, the time one can devote to prepare their thesis will
be insufficient for allowing reading of all the recommended works, nor is
that necessary. Fortunately, the greater part of scientific works carry a subject
index at the end of entries which permit the reader to rapidly find everything
within the work in which one is specifically interested. Upon consulting
these sections and others on related issues, the student can form a judgment
as to the discernment of the author and assimilate from his exposition that
which seems useful for her own purposes.
    This kind of "reading" is advisable only in the case which deals with
informing oneself about the opinions of various important authors in relation
to the matter that interests the student. It does not mean that it should be
the rule. There are works which the students should read cover-to-cover and
study in depth, and each student will meet, during their studies, with one
author or another who awakens a special interest in her, be it for the clarity
of his exposition, for the novelty and originality of his ideas or for the
uniqueness and audacity of his deductions or affirmations. The reading of the
works of such an author can be for her or him a true revelation and exercise
powerful influences upon her way of thinking. This is all right and no one can
criticize it, always given that it is not taken to the extreme of totally
neutralizing one's capacity to think for oneself by not accepting any other
"truth," also admissible, if it is in contradiction with what the chosen
author says.
    There are a series of reference books that can be of great utility to the
student when she needs quick information about something. They are the
encyclopedias, among which are found in Spanish the Espasa-Calpe in 70
volumes, ten appendices and eight supplements; the Encyclopedia Britannica
of 24 volumes; L'Encyclopédie Française, Larousse edition, Paris, in 12
parts; and the Germans with Brockhaus in 14 and Herder with ten volumes.
For the economist, of special importance are the Encyclopedia of Social
Sciences, edited in the United States, in 15 parts, and the Handwõrterbuch
der Staatswissenschaften (Encyclopedia of the State Sciences) edited in
Germany, with nine parts.

b) Journal articles. The reading of books should be complemented with
consultation of periodicals. The domain of books is limited; their authors
express in them what they can say about the material they treat, in the time
when they are written and published. Yet science does not halt at a
determinate point; in its dynamism all progress resides. The scientific
journals offer an interesting forum in which the authors express and argue
their ideas, communicate new understandings which can be imported into one's
branch of knowledge or analyze real-life problems.
    For the student, consultation of scientific journals is important for two
reasons. Of course, for the articles they publish and among which one can
surely find something to assist in the work of investigation; and second,
because almost all the scientific journals have a section wherein they publish
reviews of recently appeared works, and sometimes another in which they print
the titles of scientific studies published in other magazines. In these
sections, the student will find extremely valuable indications regarding the
newest sources of information.
    Of the many economic journals having importance for the economist, we
mention only the following (without meaning to say with this that others not
cited are of an inferior category):
    The American Economic Review, monthly magazine of the American Economic
Association, edited in the United States. Especially interesting are the acts
of the annual meetings of the Association which are published under the title
"Papers and Proceedings."
    The Economic Journal, magazine of the Royal Economic Society, edited in
    Revue d'Économie Politique and Économie Appliquée, both edited in
    Zeitschrift des Instituts für das gesamte Kreditwesen, edited in
Frankfurt am Main; one of the best magazines specializing in questions of
monetary politics and credit.
    For the Latin American economists, of special interest is El Trimestre
Económico, edited by the "Fondo de Cultura Económico", Mexico City.

c) Newspapers. For a certain class of studies, particularly of an historical
character, the student shall have to refer to more direct sources of
information. Among them in the first place are the publications of the
daily press, which can be consulted in the respective sections of the national
libraries and in the archives of the newspaper enterprises themselves. The use
of this source requires much caution from the student and strict observance of
the methodology of historical investigation. The editorials are rarely
objective testimony as to the facts mentioned; the political stance of the
journalist is what determines his tone. Nevertheless, they may be very
interesting resources for the conscientious investigator that revive the
events of the past in her mind and permit her to capture something of the
spirit which dominated the times whose history is being abstracted. It is
perfectly possible to reconstruct, on the basis of statistical data and
official publications, the events of the first years of the fourth decade of
the 20th century. But if the investigator wants to give a vivid description
of the way in which the great world crisis agitated public opinion; of the
passionate discussions between the intransigent partisans of the ruling
monetary regime and those who saw in its perpetuation the complete ruin of
the economy; of the disconcerting incapacity of governors and legislators to
comprehend the true nature of the crisis and take reality-based measures; of
the profound rebellion of the spirit, which in many places led to violent
outbreaks of sedition, she will find no better resource than the daily
press, whose pages preserve indelible memories of all those occurrences.
    All the large newspapers have a section where economic data are published.
In Europe and the United States, these sections at times cover several pages
and include, as well as all sorts of figures and statistics, commentaries upon
current events, as much national as international. In Latin America this
aspect of journalism is very little developed; the profession of news person
specializing in the economy practically does not exist. Thus it may be that
the press publications in these sections will be of relatively little value
for the economist and the economic historian. However, in some instances, e.g.
to study the movement of prices or of stock market quotes in periods for which
no official statistics exist, the data published in the newspapers will be the
only possible source of information.

d) Documents in archives. The wealth of documents that are preserved in
archives, public or private, are another important source of information for
studies of an historical character. Under this category fall the archives of
great commercial, industrial or banking enterprises, whose history cannot be
written without consulting the proceedings from meetings of its directors, in
which is contained all that has determined the development and destiny of the
    Among the public archives must be mentioned in the first place those of
the diverse ministries, in which are kept all types of documents of official
origin, such as drafts of treaties and conventions; acts or protocols relative
to agreements, congresses or conferences; reports from diplomatic missions
abroad; and, what has considerable interest for certain economic studies, the
consular reports. Everything relating to the origin and history of the codes
or laws is found in the voluminous bulletins of the sessions of the National
    Not every public archive is open to any person interested in consulting
it. The British government, e.g., does not permit one, at least as a general
rule, to consult or publish the English consular reports until 50 years after
their date. Some archives publish catalogs or magazines that inform us of
the documents conserved and those entering their custody. Almost all the
big libraries have archival sections where are kept balance sheets, theses,
memoranda, technical reports of expert commissions, copies of important
correspondence, et cetera.(2)

e) Personal interviews. The information which the student can obtain from
the sources identified above normally will suffice for the preparation of
her thesis and the creation of a bibliography. However, the novelty of one's
theme could still make it necessary to revert to other sources to make more
direct contact with the reality chosen to be investigated. Among them,
personal interviews may be of great utility, given that the student proceeds
with skill and tact and knows how to awaken, in the person interviewed, an
interest in the work being advanced.
    An interview should be carefully prepared. The student should certainly
form a clear idea as to who might be the person most likely to produce the
desired information. It would be very imprudent to bother a director with
questions that could be answered by a foreman or a section head. According to
the nature of the questions, one should choose the person who best can
answer them.
    Next, one must solicit the interview, verbally or in writing, indicating
its objective. It goes without saying that the observance of the strictest
punctuality with regard to the hour that the interview may be scheduled is a
factor which could greatly influence the positive disposition of the subject
to dedicate time and interest to answering the questions put to him.
    In all this one should not ignore one fact of undeniable importance. A
businessman or a public functionary of high rank, will not be inclined a
priori to give full attention to a matter that is a detour from his
habitual occupation. An interview requested by a student may seem to many such
persons to be a thing of no consequence, in which time is only uselessly
wasted. It will depend, then, entirely on the cleverness of the student to
convince the person she wishes to interview that it is not her intention to
meddle in his affairs with neither reason nor right, but that she is
embarked upon a serious work of investigation, for which is needed certain
information that no one can provide better than the subject.
    Every man has a certain concept of his own importance. It is not always
only vanity that wishes to be respected in this sense. Even the most self-
assured person cannot renounce the satisfaction caused by the esteem and
recognition of others. It is important, therefore, that the student, upon
selecting the person she needs to interview, informs herself in the greatest
detail as to his character, the activities he performs, even his "hobbies" and
the successes he has had in his business or profession. It is more than
probable that, during the interview, the opportunity will present itself to
make mention of one thing or another which gives the subject the impression
that the interlocutor knows him and is aware of what he has done or what he is
doing. Proceeding with great tact and without indulging in clumsy flattery, it
will be easy for the student to win the benevolence of her subject and obtain
from him everything that she wants to know.
    An interview of this nature should be, on principle, brief and based upon
questions formulated in such a way that they can be answered without
difficulty by the subject and without his feeling obliged to seek statistical
items or other information which the student herself, or with the help of
other persons, could find. By no means should the student ask her subject to
answer her questions in writing; but she could request of him the favor, which
surely will not be denied, of checking the text where the student summarizes
the answers to her questions based on the notes taken during the interview.
With the approval, on the part of the subject, of the text of these items, the
student shall have the security of having understood correctly and of not
incurring any positive error or misapprehension regarding the issue that had
been the object of her interview.
    A last question that the student should ask her subject, together with
thanking him for the good will he has demonstrated in answering everything
which she wanted to know, is this: May I mention your name in my investigatory
work as a direct source of information about this matter or would that be a
problem? In many cases, the informant will have no problem with being
mentioned, in others yes. In such cases, the student can do nothing but
declare that her information emanates "from a reliable source, worthy of
complete confidence."

f) Explorations on the ground. There are two fields that offer the Latin
American student unlimited investigative possibilities: Everything that
is related to the question of "economic development," on the one hand and,
with the "agrarian economy," on the other. At root, the agrarian economy is
only a specific aspect of the national economy and so, also, of the total
complex of problems which concern the politics of economic development. If in
university teaching special courses are assigned to it, it is because of the
importance of food for the economy and the peculiarities that characterize
production from and tenancy on the land.
    The bibliography is enormous which has been published in recent years
regarding problems of development and the agrarian economy, especially in
English. The student who selects a topic related to this material necessarily
must refer to a large part of said bibliography; but this is not enough. The
true importance of her investigation, that is, its originality which gives it
a specific value, will consist in the incorporation of her understanding of
reality. That sort of investigation, therefore, will lead the student directly
to personal exploration in the field.
    An interesting example for investigations of this kind comprised the works
accomplished in Santiago Chile, in the Center for Economic Planning,(3) an
institution which was part of the Department of Economics at the University
of Chile. The alumni of this Center were comprised of representatives of
diverse professions: engineers, architects, economists, doctors, sociologists,
etc. The theoretical studies that the Center offered were complemented by
practical investigations, for which each student was assigned a specific task
in the analysis of the possibilities and necessities of development in certain
regions of the country. These investigations not only had to serve the
students by sharpening their vision of the problems of regional development,
yet also it was the ambition of the Center that it would obtain valuable
material which could serve the authorities well in orienting their
development politics.
    Investigations under the auspices of the Graduate School for Latin
American Economic Studies (ESCOLATINA), also with headquarters in Santiago,
have brought into view problems of agrarian reform that exist in practically
all the Latin American nations (as well as in many European and oriental
nations) yet which generally do not attract the attention of the authorities.
They deal with problems that affect large expanses of small and medium-
sized agricultural properties, whose intensive exploitation is impossible
because the plots have very dispersed locations, such that the distances
between one and another are very great and which, in consequence of
successive subdivision, have sometimes acquired totally irrational shapes
and sizes. The solution to this problem, which with some success was essayed
in England and Germany, consists in the rearrangement of plots, with the
goal of converting the small, dispersed plots into compact units, whose
cultivation can be done in an intensive and rational manner with the result
of a increase in real productivity and profitability.
    This class of investigations--of a microeconomic character--form the basis
for a large-scale development politics of a macroeconomic character. The
collaboration of students of economics and sociology in the analysis and
elucidation of actual problems can be of great utility.

g) The technique of using surveys.** An investigation on this terrain
requires its own technique. The principal source of information for the
investigator is now not the written word, but instead what she sees and
what she hears upon entering into direct contact with the terrain and with
people from the most diverse social classes and cultural levels. Nevertheless,
often it will be impossible for her to personally interview each one of the
individuals whose opinion interests her. In that case one has to move to the
survey, through which she will be able to obtain the desired information
simultaneously from a bigger group of persons.
    If the number of persons selected is relatively small, the survey can be
completed by the investigator without outside help. In other cases, when we
deal with surveys of greater extent, e.g. to establish the basis of an index
of the cost of living or to sound out opinion of the populace regarding a
public investment project that interests or affects a certain region, it will
be indispensable to employ other individuals to implement the survey,
assigning to each one of them a partial task within the total survey.
    The observation of the following rules will be of fundamental importance.
    The theme about which it is desired to conduct a survey should have clear
and precise boundaries, and should be neither too extensive nor general. The
more precise the limits of the material are, the greater the possibility exists
that the outcome shall also have the desired precision.
    A questionnaire must be projected which contains the questions
corresponding to the topic of the survey. The questions should be clear and
concise, so that they will not lend themselves to double interpretations;
they should be brief and formulated in such a way that their answers, insofar
as possible, can be satisfied with a yes or a no or other alternative such as:
possibly, maybe, sometimes, some, etc. So that the questions can be satisfied
with a type of answer as indicated, it often will be advisable to collect on
the questionnaire itself, after the questions, a series of probable
alternative responses, so that the subject can mark among them that which
appears best to him.
    To assure that the answers from the subject correspond to reality, it is
advisable to place some "baseline" questions in the survey, whose purpose is
to corroborate, via a suitable device, some previous answer. The baseline
question, naturally, should not immediately follow the principal question, but
instead should be located ahead of it, so that the subject overlooks the
relation there may be between both.
    Once filled out, the questionnaires should be carefully reviewed by the
operator of the survey. In certain instances, when we deal with a more
extensive survey and one achieved with the assistance of various persons,
the questionnaires should be submitted to a second review on the part of
a supervisor, in order to establish the consistency or inconsistency of the
replies. If there are doubts which arise from ambiguous responses or those
the interrogator cannot clarify, she will return to the field to seek in it
there the solution to the problem.
    Once the questionnaires are reviewed, one can proceed to numerical
codification of the questions and answers. To this end there is assigned a
number to each question and within the question a number for each one of the
possible answers. In this manner it is easy to establish how many replies to a
single question correspond to the code No.1, how many to code No.2 and how
many others to code No.3, et cetera.
    The following work can be done by hand, when the survey has been
relatively small, or with Hollerith card readers. In this latter case, all the
codification is reduced to special cards, on which each column corresponds to
a question and each line within the column is a possible answer. In the spot
which corresponds to each answer, the card will receive a perforation. A card
is allocated for each survey individual.
    Two sets of cards should be made for different people and then passed
through the machine together to thus verify there are no errors.
    Once the cards are perforated and verified, all the desired results and all
the correlations sought can be obtained, through the operations of the machine,.
    The type of survey described here corresponds to precise questions and
answers. However, another type of survey exists than that which is presented
to a group of persons simultaneously and is frequently used. In this case we
do not utilize a questionnaire in sight of the subject but instead an
appropriate conversation is carried on, though which the interviewer proceeds
to satisfy all the questions and doubts she may have. This type of survey
can be less productive statistically than the other, yet frequently can be
even more efficient, when the interrogator knows how to win the confidence of
her subjects. For this effect an interviewer of high level and ability is
evidently necessary. The preparation process for a survey of this type is,
furthermore, much more complicated and delicate than in the case of a survey
through a questionnaire. This type of survey is useful for knowing general
aspects of opinion concerning some question; it follows they do not function
to establish statistical correlations, but instead only to distinguish general

2. Bibliographic notes and "memory aids." There are different ways to
preserve the data and experiences which are collected during the course of an
    Of Schumpeter it is told that he always had his pockets full of papers
with all kinds of annotations. Although this does not seem to be a very
advisable system, in any event it serves to help the memory retain the ideas
which at any moment flow improvised through a mind occupied on a problem of
    It is advisable to replace the loose papers, which can easily be lost, with a
small notebook of convenient size for carrying in a pocket to have always at
hand for any quick notation.
    Equally for the study of a science in general, as for a particular work of
investigation, the way in which the student learns from reading is of great
importance. Very few have such an enviable memory that the simple reading of
a book suffices to absorb and comprehend its content. As a general rule, the
student will have to utilize certain practices to help her memory or permit
her to assimilate all that which seems or actually is essential for her
    If the books that the student reads are her own property, she can underline
or mark those parts of the text that are of special interest. This should always
be done with a pencil and ruler, never freehand with ink. When one wishes
to highlight a passage of the text, to which the student attributes an
extraordinary significance and which deserves to eventually be cited, it is
useful to underline the respective lines. Other parts of the text, which
equally are important and will be beneficial to re-read from time to time
can be marked with a vertical line in the exterior margin of the pages.
    It is clear that this manner of treating a book is only permitted for those
one possesses as their property. It would be a grave lack of consideration and
respect if the same were done with books borrowed in loan from other persons
or public libraries. In those cases, the student must revert to other methods.
    The simplest of them is the formation of a letter-sized (or card-sized)
template with loose leaves on which the annotations of the case can be made,
if possible typed. The sheets which carry the notes are stapled, separately
for each book, assigning the top to the title page wherein the following items
should figure: The title of the book; its author or its authors; the number of
its edition; place and year of its publication; the volume number, in the
event the work consists of various volumes and, especially important: the
library in which the work can be found and the corresponding catalog call
number. None of these entries, which are indispensable for identifying and
locating the book at any time it is necessary to return to consult it,
should be skipped.
    The same notes can be created in three different ways. First, one could
literally copy those parts of a text which seem especially important or that
might occasionally serve to be citations. Of other more extensive passages one
can make brief summaries, taking care that these exactly reflect the ideas
expressed by the author. Finally, if will often be sufficient to make reference
in a few words to a certain issue treated in the book, simply with the object
of reminding the student where she could find, if necessary, information
about that matter.
    One will proceed in an analogous fashion with journal articles, annotating
in each case, besides the above-mentioned items, the name of the magazine
and the date of the respective issue. It also will be useful to prepare a registry
of articles and journals that are not read immediately, but whose content
seems sufficiently interesting to be consulted at another opportunity.
    It has previously been mentioned that, in the case of personal interviews,
it is good to take a version of the results of the conversation and request
approval on the part of the subject. This last is particularly important to
give proven scientific value to the result of the interview, that only can be
guaranteed if the notes exactly reflect the mode of thinking of the person who
has been interviewed.
    To this category of information also belongs that which is obtained
through the discussion of hypotheses or problems with professors or other
persons familiar with the material. Equally in these cases it is right for
the student to take notes and preserve them in an appropriate form to enable
remembering at an opportune moment what was discussed.

3. Files. The system described in the preceding paragraph of preserving the
data and experiences in folders--which, if desired, can be of different
colors for information extracted from books, from journals or from verbal
questioning--we recommend to the student as being the simplest and cheapest.
Any student who has even a little sense of order, can organize in this way,
with a minimum of effort, an archive of scientific material that will be of
great utility, even beyond the immediate ends which she seeks in preparing
her senior thesis.
     There is another more expensive, less simple system, which consists in
the organization of one of more files in the style of those used for library
catalogs. In this case the annotations are made on normal-sized cards, which
are conserved in boxes, grouped by alphabetic order, whether this is by author
or by the subject treated. This system is advisable for professional
investigators who have to deal with a wide and diversified bibliography, and
for seminars or centers and research institutions, where the scientific
material is gathered and archived with the help of various persons.

4. Systematization of the informational material. The informational
material, the citations, the summaries and the notes in the "memory aid,"
which the student accumulates over the course of her studies or for the
specific case of her senior thesis, necessarily have to be arranged in a
logical and systematic form. It would not be very rational to join together in
the same file notations referring to monetary questions, problems of industrial
development, accounting systems, etc. To each topic a folder should be
dedicated with the corresponding inscription on the top to indicate its
     For the implementation of a senior thesis, this systematization of
the material considerably facilitates the work for the student, avoiding that
she lose time uselessly in the search for data, antecedents and references
from among a mountain of annotations that may have been quite carefully
made, but which have been preserved in a confused and negligent manner.
     The most natural way of grouping the material is to follow the order
of the chapters in the provisional outline which is prepared for a work of
investigation. If we return to the example explicated above of a thesis
outline regarding the Control of Exterior Commerce, it would be logical that
in a first folder would be held all that which refers to the circumstances
that gave origin to the institution, as well as to its theoretical basis,
matter that will be extracted principally from reading books and special
technical studies. The material which is needed for the second part, or that
is the historical evolution of the institution, shall be obtained from other
sources (memoirs, archives, laws, minutes of meetings, press publications,
etc.) and should be kept in another file. And finally the same applies to the
material comprising the third part which will be the result of direct inquiries
by the author in the form of interviews and eventually of surveys among
many people.

5. Archive of statistics and graphics. Deserving of special mention is
the utility of preparing an archive in which statistical tables and graphics
are stored. We do not refer to the statistics which are regularly published in
the branch technical magazines that can be easily consulted, but to the tables
based upon official statistics or those of private institutions and composed
by the authors of the respective studies with specific demonstrative ends. In
the same way it is worthwhile to clip--where it is possible--or copy graphical
representations which demonstrate developmental tendencies or characterize
given situations.
     The selection of this material naturally depends on the criteria and on
the personal interests of the student, and the data so collected may enable
it to be of great usefulness at any moment, assuming one may be convinced of
its exactitude, and that, upon making use of it, the source from which it has
been obtained is clearly indicated.
     In economics, all scientific work, if it is not a pure product of
deductive thought, must comply with a basic condition, which is that the
thesis proposed in it should be proven--or at least could be proven--with
concrete facts, generally expressible in statistical figures. The principle
of objectivity requires of the investigator that she not engage in vague
intellectual speculations when she tries to analyze and engage in problems
of economic reality. Therefore, the numerical and graphical material needed
for a concrete instance of investigation should be elaborated and composed
carefully and with the greatest meticulousness, without thinking at all in
advance of the possible result. The conclusion towards which the investigation
leads should be derived from an objective interpretation of the statistical
tables that have been used.
     However, in certain cases, the investigator, upon posing a problem, could
begin with an hypothesis. It is a correct methodological procedure. With that
one confronts a problem from a position which makes them see it from a very
specific angle. The hypothesis may be interesting, suggestive, it may even be
correct; yet in no case does it cease from being a preconceived idea, as long
as its validity is not verified in a strictly objective form, basing itself
upon the observation of reality in the light thrown on it by statistics.
     It is well for the student not to lose sight of this principle, whether
she works on her senior thesis or later dedicates herself to any work of
investigation that may arise during her professional life. Before beginning
the work, she should provide herself with ample documentation material,
principally of a statistical character, which permits her to elucidate the
matter under discussion in all its aspects. Once a conclusion has been
reached, the accumulated material, even though not incorporated into the text
of the work itself, should be preserved and not destroyed so as to enable
renewed consultation if it is necessary. This material should form an integral
and permanent part of the statistical archive that the student organizes.

6. The translations. We finish this chapter with some observations
about a point which for the student will always be very delicate, when the
need is felt to consult foreign information sources and to make translations.
     Rarely is the topic of a work of economic investigation so narrowly
circumscribed to a purely national matter that it would be superfluous to make
reference to works or studies by foreign authors. The bibliography of
translations of important work in all the different branches of the economic
sciences is very large, but the quality of the translations is not always the
highest. A frequent occurrence is that the investigator, to penetrate the
thought of a foreign author, must revert to the original text of the work,
having found the translation deficient. This, naturally, is only possible if
the investigator perfectly dominates the language in question or if she can
avail herself of another person who may be capable of helping her.
    The student who finds herself in that situation of having to consult a
written text in a language which she does not know, should keep in mind that
not any person who speaks that language may be useful. We have already
mentioned in another part that each science has its own language, based upon a
vocabulary of technical terms whose meaning is only familiar to the initiates.
And moreover, each science has various specialties, which in turn use their
own terms adapted to their own particular necessities. It is sometimes
difficult for persons who speak in the same language to understand each other,
when each speaks the technical language of his specialty; and yet it is even
more difficult to correctly understand and interpret the technicalities of a
foreign language, when one does not possess sufficient and special
familiarity with the respective material.
    The following counsel may be useful to the student:
    When one wants to cite a foreign author who writes in a relatively well-
known language, such as English or French, she can literally copy the
respective passage and insert it in the text. With that one has the guarantee
that the citation exactly reflects what the author has wished to say. To the
reader who does not speak that language, this type of citation naturally will
not seem very pertinent.
    If a translation of the work exists, it is logical that the citation be
taken from that text, given that you can have the security that the
translation is well done. If case of doubt it is wise to verify its fidelity.
    As a general rule, citations of foreign works should be translated by the
same writer who makes them. Yet it should be remembered that it is not always
an easy thing to make a perfect translation. It is rare that a literal
translation expresses exactly the idea of the original text. In each language
there are concepts and idioms which cannot be expressed in the corresponding
words of another language. There are words that are common to two or more
languages, but which in each of them are used in a different sense. There are
others, especially compound words, which in appearance are translatable, yet
which in reality have a totally alien meaning to that which corresponds to
them etymologically. In all these cases one must fall back upon circumlocutions
to express, by means of roundabout words and with the greatest possible
clarity,  the idea of the excerpt in which one is interested.
    The art of the translator consists in profoundly penetrating the
ideological world of the author, understanding his manner of thinking, and
where it is not possible to express his ideas in identical or similar words,
to echo them and give in different words the version that most approaches the
meaning in the original text.

    D. The Execution of Works of Investigation

In the preparatory works, the study of the sources of information and the
gathering of data and experiences, the student will already have invested a
good part of her time. Always keeping in mind the topic one has selected and
the objective pursued with it, she shall not only have been able to enrich
her familiarity with the material, but also to order and clarify her own
ideas, which are what is essential in her work and that condition its
originality. In this, truly speaking, resides the contribution that is
required of the author of a senior thesis or what, that is, without
limiting oneself to the reproduction and arrangement of what others have
already said, reveals her capacity of having her own criteria and of
developing the creative spirit.

1. The exposition of the theme. At this point the student will be able to
think of launching the written implementation of her work, and to give to
the results of her investigation the literary form which best seems to make
them accessible to the reader. This part of the work--the fourth stage
in the preparation of her thesis--will always have a very individual
character; everyone has their own way of writing, their style, in which their
literary talent is manifested, yet even more, that which is personal and
original in one's personality. Talent for writing may be learned and developed
up to a certain point with use; in literary style something is expressed of
the individual's character that gives to the writing its specific and
sometimes unmistakable tone.
    Nevertheless, for the written exposition of an investigatory work certain
norms also apply, which cannot be overlooked without diminishing the value of
the work.

a) Revision of the provisional outline. Before beginning the composition
of the text, it is useful to subject the provisional outline, adopted as a point
of departure, to a revision. It is very possible that the student, over the course
of the weeks or months that she has dedicated to the preparatory work, shall
have been able to form a clearer idea concerning one or another aspect of the
material, so that it becomes necessary to introduce certain modifications into
the scheme, removing certain parts, adding others, making certain transpositions
within the various chapters, introducing new subdivisions, et cetera.
    It is very important to make this revision, so that the outline can
perform really efficient service as a guide in the exposition of the topic.

b) Editing rules. Notwithstanding the saying above regarding the
relationship between style and personality, the student, in writing her
thesis, should struggle to use language that is appropriate and correct in
every sense. A basic condition for that is mastery of her language, knowledge
of the fundamental rules of its morphology and syntax and, no less important,
of the orthography and punctuation. Defective formation of sentences or
phrases, lapses in spelling and arbitrary application of punctuation, not
only make the reading of a text disagreeable, but are signs of a cultural
mediocrity unworthy of a person with a university education.
    Every student should have in her private library an encyclopedic
dictionary--of which there are several very good ones(4) in Spanish--and
consult it each time she has doubts with respect to the correct form of using
a word, its conceptual signification, or the specific meaning permitted for
it. Referring to a dictionary is also useful for finding synonyms or
paraphrases which can be used to avoid the too frequent repetition of the same
word. In some cases it will be indispensable to have recourse to a special
dictionary which interprets the words of the technical language of a
    There are people who have the knack of impressing with the opulence and
brilliance of their rhetoric. This skill can be good for a politician or a
parliamentarian, but in a scientific exposition it awakens suspicion.
Exuberance of language is not compatible with profundity of thought. The
truth is more convincing dressed in a simple fashion than beneath the
shroud of a pompous verbosity. This does not mean that the way in which
the investigator expresses herself does not have major importance. By no
means do we mean to say that the man of science should be a cold
expositor without any enthusiasm; not infrequently, thanks to his ideal,
he manages to create a work of value; yet, upon communicating the results
of his investigation, he has greater success with the eloquence manifested
in his deeds than in his words.
    What was said applies especially to the economic investigator. The
Economy is not a literary genre; it is a sober science which seeks truths in
a field which offers little incentive for lyrical effusions. Nor is it a sign
of intellectual superiority to believe--as many have--that true science in an
exposition consists in leaving the reader in a twilight which makes him think,
not so much of the material being considered, but of what the author may have
wanted to say. Too often, the young economist--and many times also the old--
becomes accustomed to using a pretentious and ridiculous terminology which no
one understands and that is meant to describe simple phenomena for which clear
wording exists in the Spanish language, convinced that thus she will display
an exquisite erudition. It is an aberration, a true sickness that not only is
very often found among Latin American economists, but also in many cases among
"important social scientists" from other places.
    So the young economist should take much care not to become infected by the
virus of this sickness which, once lodged in her mentality, cannot easily be
extirpated. Clear ideas always can be expressed in clear and intelligible
language, and only vague notions are communicated in an obtuse and nebulous
manner. Therefore, the economic investigator should cultivate a serene and
simple style; expound her ideas with clarity and precision; say what she
has to say in a concise and objective form without straining her language
with rhetorical flourishes that sound good, yet which all in all contain
nothing positive.(6)
    Clarity and precision in the mode of thinking and expressing her ideas
are things which the student must conscientiously implement. She should
never settle for vagueness or try to project erudition making use of a
nebulous, obscure and mystical phraseology, behind which, for one who knows,
almost always hides crass ignorance.
    We admit that it is not always easy to express an idea with clear and
unequivocal words. Sometimes there appears to the student--and similarly to
any scientific author--a true problem of trying to search for an adequate
definition of a specific concept or to give some complicated reasoning a
concise and intelligible formulation. In such a case, one should not content
themself with the first editing formula which comes up, but instead imagine
various alternatives and adopt the one that definitely seems the best.
    Yet this decision should not be only subjective. The student may have the
conviction that the formula she has found is the clearest and most exact,
and possibly it will be for her; however it will not necessarily also be
so for others. It is important, therefore, that the author of a scientific
work knows how to put herself in the place of those who will be her readers.
If she writes for technicians, she can use technical language; if she
writes for a wider public, she should adopt a different language. For a
scientific work, the art of writing well consists not so much in imparting
splendor and elegance to the style, but instead in the clarity of the
exposition which should facilitate comprehension of the ideas for the reader,
without proposing riddles and mortifying him to ascertain their solution.

c) Corrections and modifications of the draft. It is quite improbable that
the rough draft of a scientific work be from the beginning expressed in
such a clear and perfect form that it can be accepted as the definitive text.
The author often will discover the need to make corrections, to delete parts
of the text and to replace them with others, of inserting words or sentences or
of adding entire paragraphs, etc. If all these corrections and modifications
are not done the proper way, it can be difficult for the person who must clean
up the text to understand them.
    Whether one writes the rough draft by hand or by machine, it is always
desirable to leave a margin of 6-8 centimeters on the left edge of the sheet,
sufficiently wide so as to add notes that modify words or sentences in the
text. If one intends to make a bigger insertion, they should write the text
on a separate sheet of paper and add it to the corresponding page. The best
way of doing this consists in gluing the strip to be added with its left edge
beneath the right edge of the corresponding page, and folded inward. With an
arrow the place where the added text was to be inserted will be indicated. We
recommend this system for being simple and the most appropriate for avoiding
    In the event that the added text occupies one or more pages, it is a good
idea to give each of them the same number of the corresponding page, but
adding small letters (e.g.: 112a, 112b, et cetera). Through a mark in the
original text the place is indicated where the text of the added pages should
be inserted.
    One should revise the draft various times, always allowing some weeks to
pass between one revision and another. Invariably something to amend will be

2. Formalities which should be observed. The composition of a good text does
not depend only on the richness of the author's vocabulary or style; one also
has to observe certain formalities which have great importance, particularly
for scientific works. We mention those that interest us most for our purposes.

a) Use of certain orthographic symbols. There are authors--fortunately
they are few--who have the habit of overloading their writings with inserted
sentences, placed between parentheses or dashes, something which certainly
does not make reading their books very pleasant. There are no solid rules for
the use of these orthographic signs, but perhaps one can say that they should
use parentheses to enclose sentences or entire excerpts that they want to
insert into the text, and the hyphens to separate out, within a sentence or
clause, a brief incidental note or marginal comment. In any case, the use of
these symbols represents an interruption to the continuity of a text or
sentence, and even if it does not change the meaning, it may occur that, if
the insertion is large, the reader will find it necessary to re-read the
sentence to understand its content. It is wise, therefore, not to overdo the
use of these symbols and always utilize them in such a way as not to cause
the reader a disagreeable sensation.
    An orthographic symbol of quite varied usage is quotation marks. With
these symbols it is customary to demarcate excerpts copied literally from
other writings that are inserted into an exposition, putting quotes at the
beginning and at the end of the citation. Words that are attributed to another
person in a conversation also should be placed between quotes (for example: He
answered me - "I am not inclined to accept those conditions"). To express the
different rubrics in a written exposition, e.g. for a balance of payments, for
the national accounts or for a fiscal estimate, they should be placed in the
text between quotation marks ("Gross foreign trade" or "Incomes of the self-
employed" or "Direct taxes" versus "Indirect taxes"). Finally we shall
mention that it is very common to use these symbols in certain cases when a
not very current yet meaningful expression is employed (e.g. The president of
the Republic is "Citizen No.1" of the nation) or when one wants to give a
special accent to a word (e.g. "Excessive" expansion of the money supply, a
"deficient" quantity of reserves).

b) The footnotes. To accompany the text of an exposition with marginal
observations, notes that are placed at the foot of the page are generally
used. These notes then serve to indicate the source from which some
information or a citation inserted in the text has been drawn. They also are
used for certain complementary observations which do not fit well into the
text itself of the exposition. For the investigator notes of this type are
very useful auxiliary means of editing; however, they also enable abuse.
Frequently one finds articles in scientific journals with such an abundance of
explanatory notes that those texts, taken together, almost overwhelm that of
the exposition itself. What for a journal article in the final analysis can be
allowed to pass, becomes frankly inadmissible when one speaks of a work
published in book form. Nevertheless, it is not difficult to find such works
in any library.
    We recommend to the student not to follow that example, even though she
finds it in the works of recognized authors in her branch of science. It is
not the best way to make the reading of a book attractive. With a very little
imagination and a minimum of literary talent, one can draft a text which
leaves nothing to be desired as to clarity and conciseness, without the need
at every moment to divert the attention of the reader from the principal theme
toward accessory observations of lesser importance.
    Each footnote should be linked with an asterisk or a number that connects
it to the passage it refers to in the text. Although solid rules do not exist
for these questions either, one can use asterisks for footnotes corresponding
to observations not directly related to the material which is the object of
the exposition; for instance, for a note that is placed at the beginning of a
journal article which refers to the biography of the author; or in which the
author mentions and acknowledges her collaborators; or where she declares
that her opinions do not necessarily coincide with those that her institution
may hold. It may also be helpful to mark observations in this way which the
editor or translator of a text sometimes adds and that are not the author's
    The explanatory notes, which form part of the text of a study or a book,
should be represented with numbers. In this regard various systems can be
applied. One would be the consecutive numeration of the notes. This system is
generally used for journal articles or shorter studies, yet it also is used
by some authors in their books. Another system consists in using the
consecutive numeration only within the different chapters of a work, such that
for each chapter the numeration of the notes begins again with 1. And finally
the consecutive numeration can be limited to the footnotes on a single page.
Of none of these systems can it be said that it is better than the others; but
the author of a scientific work should decide between one or the other and not
apply them all in an arbitrary and disordered fashion.(7)
    We mention a fourth system that is found in scientific works, although not
very frequently, and which consists in the grouping of all the footnotes,
numbered consecutively, in an appendix to the book. This system has the
advantage of making the reading of a work more enjoyable, now that the
attention of the reader is not distracted by footnotes on the pages that,
generally, are not indispensable for understanding the content of the
exposition. Nevertheless, one who wishes to, can read the notes in response
to references to them in the text or separately and as a group after finishing
the reading of a chapter or the complete work.

c) Citations and references. On rare occasions a scientific work will
show such a high degree of originality and intellectual independence that the
author does not need to refer to any work by another author. For the
investigator in economics who, before beginning her endeavor, must accumulate
and study a vast mass of information, such references not only are
unavoidable, but necessary, as much to confront her own opinion with those
expressed by other authors, supporting or refuting them, as also to communicate
that she has duly taken into account what others have already done.
    However, one must take care not to exaggerate. An excessive accumulation
of citations and references can give the reader the feeling that the author is
trying to impress him with the immense quantity of works she has read or
should have read, to allow making the references. It is very doubtful whether
this is the most appropriate way to certify the scientific value of a work.
    The citations can be made two ways. When it seems convenient to literally
cite the part of the text of another work that in the opinion of the author
deserves to be commented upon or mentioned, the citation should be highlighted
as such, putting it between quotes--as is most common--or inserting it with an
italicized print. The other type of reference consists in adducing the opinion
of another author, summarizing what he says with one's own words. For both
cases it is of fundamental importance to clearly indicate the source: in the
case of a literal quote, through a footnote where the author should be
mentioned, the title of his work and the page on which the cited part appears;
and in the other case, mentioning in the same sentences the name of the author
whose reasoning is summarized, so it will be clearly understood that what is
said here is not the intellectual property of she who wrote the text.
    Lack of observance of these norms based upon a moral principle that we
wish to call the "honor of the investigator" can summon uncomfortable
consequences. To literally cite a foreign text and cause it to pass as one's
own is a plague which, if it is discovered--and the majority of times it will
be--must seriously affect the author's reputation; furthermore, in certain
instances, it could give rise to judicial enforcement. No less worthy of scorn
is projecting as original and of one's own creation ideas which, in reality,
other authors have had. The student who, on drafting her thesis, proceeds
consciously or unconsciously in this direction, would be very lucky if the
professors informed of it, instead of roundly rejecting the work, were only to
ask that she amend the lapse.

d) The use of abbreviations, acronyms and capital letters. As a general
rule, in a well-drafted text one should not use abbreviations different from
those commonly accepted, such as: e.g. (for example), etc. (et cetera), viz.
(verbi gratia = for instance), p. (page), op.cit. (opus citatus = cited
work, used in footnotes so as not to repeat the title of a work cited in a
previous note), and some others. The abbreviations used in business are also
admissible, such as: Assoc. or Assn. (association), Co. (company), Inc.
(incorporated), S. A. (anonymous society), Ltd. (company with limited
liability) and others like them, but only in conjunction with the names of
the respective firms; when one speaks in general of anonymous societies,
commercial companies, industrial enterprises, etc., the words should be
written out in full. In the same way it is customary to abbreviate titles
(Pres. -President; Dr. -Doctor, Esq. -Esquire, Prof. -Professor, etc.), and also
middle names and second last names. In every case it is well to be sparing
in the use of abbreviations and never transpose to a clean or printed copy
that which is permitted in a rough draft. If there are reasons to employ
different abbreviations from those commonly used, the author should insert
a box explaining the meaning of each one at the beginning of her work.
    The great fashion of our times is abbreviations in the form of acronyms.
The names, sometimes long, of national or international institutions are
expressed by words composed of the initial letters of the elements that form
the respective names. From the letters thus joined there sometimes results an
easily pronounceable compound, in other cases the acronym can only be read
pronouncing its letters separately.
    To use acronyms in a written exposition, one should keep the following in
mind: While the previously mentioned abbreviations always carry a period at
the end, as a signal that an abbreviated word is represented, acronyms are not
written with a period. For example, the acronym of the Economic Commission for
Latin America and the Caribbean is written ECLAC and not E.C.L.A.C.; that of
the "United Nations Organization," ONU and not O.N.U.; etc. Also, upon using
an acronym for the first time in a text, it is always advisable to precede it
with the full name of the institution. It cannot be assumed that every reader
will know that IMF means "International Monetary Fund" or that OECD should be
read "Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development." Once the
institution is introduced in this way, reference can be made to it in the
future utilizing the acronym.
    Generally, acronyms are written with capital letters, just like the
initials of the words comprising the acronyms. In such cases, the use of the
capitals is perfectly legitimate and corresponds to a universal custom. For
the rest the occasions are numbered when it is opportune to use these letters.
The titles of books, the names of magazines, like the titles of the studies or
articles which they publish, sometimes the titles of chapters and sub-chapters
should be comprised--although not always--of capital letters, for ultimately
aesthetic reasons. Within a text the capitals can be used for words that one
wants to have stand out; yet the same effect can also be obtained by
underlining the words or putting them in bold or italic type. Frequently in
economic studies we find the word "Bank" written with an initial capital
letter. Indubitably, banks are important and powerful institutions, but they
do not thereby deserve to be viewed with that respect and reverence which is
implicitly expressed in the capital letter. Nevertheless, writing the word
with an initial capital is justified when the text refers to a specific bank,
whose exact name should have been previously mentioned. For example: "The
Bank of England was founded in 1694. In 1844, the Bank was subjected to a
reorganization." In speaking of "banks" in general, there is no reason for
writing the word with an initial capital letter.

e) Positioning of tables and graphics. Every economic investigation that is
not of an exclusively deductive character will have to base itself on
observational data provided through statistics. Naturally, not all the
statistical material that the investigator collects is worth incorporating
into her work, but only that data which is meaningful and supportive of the
purposes of the investigation. These figures, insofar as they cannot be
included in the text without interrupting its continuity, should be presented
in statistical tables which are inserted separately into the same pages where
they are discussed.
    The form of the tables depends substantially on the character of the data
gathered in them and upon the statistical facts one wants to demonstrate. It
also should be said that each row and each column of a table should be clearly
marked as to the significance of the data and of the periods or dates to which
it refers. Furthermore, each table should have a title, which permits the
reader to notice the subject matter at a glance, without the need to refer to
the text. Finally, it is indispensable at all times to indicate the units in
which the data is expressed and, beneath the title or at the foot of the
table, the source from which the data was taken.
    What has been said with regard to statistical tables applies in analogous
fashion to graphical depictions. These too should be provided with all the
necessary indicators to make their meaning comprehensible, independently of
the text of the exposition. In this way the author can dispense with
explaining technical details of the graphics and concentrate on their
    If the statistical material or graphic is too extensive, such that the
respective blocks exceed the normal size of the pages, larger sheets must be
inserted which, appropriately folded, reduce to the size of the pages. In
certain cases it may be convenient to gather the statistical material that has
been used for an exposition into a special appendix.
    When a statistical table or a graphic occupies an entire page, being of
greater width than of height, it should always be inserted in such a way that
the title is on the left side, from the reader's point of view. In other
words: when the table or graphic is inserted onto a right-hand page with odd
numbering, its title should be near the middle of the book; and when it is
inserted onto a page with even numbering, it should be placed towards the
edge. It is a little detail that is wise to observe, because it enormously
facilitates reading. When many tables and diagrams are included in the text,
it is advisable, additionally, to give them consecutive numeration.

f) The appendices. Everything which is considered important material for
documenting a scientific work, yet that is not convenient to insert into
the text itself, can be collected in an annex or appendix that is added to
the end of the work.
    In a previous paragraph the Statistical Appendix has already been
mentioned, which offers various advantages. For one thing, it allows
unburdening an exposition's text of boxes which do not always contribute to
making the reading agreeable. In many cases, the author can devote herself to
commentary or interpretation of facts or tendencies and refer the reader, for
support for her affirmations, to the appended statistical tables. Such tables
can offer much more thorough and complete statistical material than what
could be permitted to be inserted within the text. Finally, the appendix can
serve for publication of those statistical series which in the exposition are
only presented in the form of curves on a diagram.
    When an investigatory work makes reference to certain legal decisions,
it could be useful to publish the complete text of the respective laws or
decrees. The best suggestion for this situation would be to gather the laws
and decrees in a special appendix. It is desirable to proceed in the same
fashion with other documentation material that is esteemed to be of
importance, but which cannot be inserted into the text itself of the
    Appendices are especially useful for offering the reader certain
complementary details to an investigation or for giving additional
explanations concerning specific chapters. It would be most laudable if
the mathematical economists would adopt the custom of presenting their
mathematical deductions, often long and complicated, in special appendices
and that, in the text of their exposition--which, at least as a general rule, is
directed to a wider public--they would limit themselves to comment only,
and with easily comprehensible words, on the results they have obtained.

g) The indices. Of principal importance for every scientific work that is
published in the form of a booklet or book, is the index. By means of it
the reader can easily inform herself of the content of the work and adjust her
reading to conform with her interest in the material.
    There are different types of indices, each one of which has its own
importance, and even though all are not equally necessary in each case, for
works of wider range they do constitute indispensable complements.
    The first and most important is the general index of the content,
which displays the way in which the material has been arranged,
indicating the respective titles of the "parts," "chapters," "sections,"
"paragraphs," etc. In its structure, this index closely resembles the
provisional revised outline, which has served as a guide in the elaboration
of the work, and could therefore be considered as the definitive structure.
When this index is composed, the author will be able to see clearly whether
the work is conveniently systematized, and if it reveals some defects, she
will still have the opportunity to correct them.
    Another index--which should not be lacking in any senior thesis--is
the bibliographic index, in which the author takes note of the works that
she has consulted for the work itself and what does she recommend as
complementary reading. The works mentioned in this index should be clearly
designated with the name of the author, the title of the work, the publisher
and the place and year of the edition.
    The bibliographic index can be sorted such that the authors appear in
alphabetical order. Sometimes it may be useful to have a complementary
bibliography for each of the principal chapters of the work. In these cases,
the bibliographic registries can be appended at the end of each chapter, or at
the end of the work with an indication of the chapters to which they refer.
The literary references will not always be limited exclusively to
publications in the form of books; one also will have to cite journal articles
and even the daily press. It may help, in such a case, to register separately
in the index the reference works in book form from articles appearing in
journals or newspapers.
    The author will have ample opportunity to choose from among these
alternatives the one that seems most suitable for her case, always taking care
not to omit any detail which serves to further clarify the cited bibliography,
so that the reader who wishes to consult one or another work can find it
without major difficulty.
    Certain works, among them especially those of a didactic character,
necessarily have to refer to opinions and ideas of many other authors, to
place them together or examine them with a critical focus. In these cases it
may be useful to add an index of authors to the work, in which appear the
names of the cited authors with an indication of the page or pages where
they are mentioned.
    Nothing more facilitates the orientation of a scientific work than an
analytical or subject index. The compilation of this index is complicated
and requires special attention. Once the editing of the work is finished,
one must return to re-read it, with the object of extracting the meaningful
words for an issue or to synthesize in one or a few words the content of
sentences or paragraphs where thoughts of characteristic importance for
the work are expressed. These words or expressions are annotated on sheets
of paper, adding the number to each one or, when it repeats, the numbers of
the pages in the manuscript in which they appear or to which they refer. To
create the index one only has to group the enumerated items in strict
alphabetical order. It is understood that an index of this type is not
indispensable for a senior thesis, yet it would form an essential part of
a reference work or, in general, of scientific works that are published in the
form of books.
    Finally we mention some special indices that it is worthwhile to make
whenever it seems desirable or useful with regard to the ease they can bring
to the reader.
    When a work contains a great number of statistical tables, not collected
in a special appendix but inserted within the text, it may help to add an
index of tables at the end, where, naturally, each box will have its number
and its title which clearly indicates the material covered in it. It could
be equally convenient, if the case requires it, to prepare an index of
diagrams. If an investigation has to base itself upon considerable
cartographic material, it would be logical that at the end of the respective
work an index of maps be added which specifies the material inserted into
the text. In the same fashion, to proceed with books containing illustrations
it is well to form an index of photos and drawings, which would permit
the readers to rapidly find the illustration in which they are interested.

h) The numbering of the pages. In all the instances mentioned in the
previous paragraph, the numbers which are shown in the indices correspond
to the respective pages of the manuscript. They will not be the same as those
which appear in the final copy or the printed work, yet they will have to
serve as a template for the correct indication of the latter.
    With regard to the numeration of the pages it is customary, although not
universal, to count those that correspond to the foreword, to the dedication,
to the prologues and even to the general index (in case it is inserted at the
beginning of the work) in Roman numerals, and to use Arabic numbers for
the pages of the text itself of the work.

    E. Presentation and Publication of Investigatory Works

With this we take as completed the writing of the thesis or the investigatory
work which has occupied us. We now enter into the fifth and last stage of its
elaboration, in which various important things remain to be done, in order
to give the work the finished form it requires for correct presentation or
    In this stage, the author will no longer be alone; other persons will be
involved--editors, proof editors, publishers, printers, bookbinders, etc.--none
of whom will have sufficient scientific preparation or understanding of the
material as to have a special, personal interest in the work. They will execute
a work wholly mechanically, yet are indispensable to make the work accessible
to the reading public. Thus it is of fundamental importance that the text be
given to them in its definitive form and in the clearest writing possible, so
as to reduce to a minimum the necessity--always a bother, as much for the
author as for the the editor or the printer--of making corrections afterwards.

1. Arrangements for giving final shape to the work. The details which are
mentioned below should be exclusively incumbent on the author; by no
means can they be left to the discretion of the persons charged with laying
out or printing the work.

a) Final revision of the manuscript. Above all the author should, before
delivering the manuscript for editing or printing, subject the text to
a last, exhaustive revision with the aim of assuring oneself that all the
corrections are written in easily decipherable letters and that the
modifications have clear indications with respect to the places where they are
to be inserted. This should be an extensive revision also of the purely formal
aspect of the presentation of the work. One should ascertain that all the
titles are written in conformity with the system that one has adopted,
using, for example, capital letters for the titles of the principal parts
and the chapters; initial capitals for the sub-chapters; and lower case for the
remaining titles. At the same time one will check that there is perfect
uniformity in the sequencing, with letters or numerals, of the different
chapters and their subdivisions, an especially important thing for the
creation of the index. Similarly one should perform a review of the tables and
graphics which are intercalated in the text, making sure that all are laid out
with uniform criteria regarding their numbering, titles, headings and other
formal details requiring attention. If the work is comprised of various
"parts," it is advisable to dedicate a separate page for the titles of each.
It is desirable, furthermore, to begin each one of the chapters on a new page.
    In summary: from this revision the text of the exposition should emerge
ready to allow being laid out. Yet some complementary adjustments still are

b) Layout of the parts comprising the work. The first page of the
manuscript is reserved for the title page. In it the name of the author
is made to figure, with an indication of the titles or distinctions she
possesses; the title of the work, generally in capital letters; the subtitle,
if there is one; in the case of a senior thesis, an indication of the
program in which it is presented to attain the authorized level or the title
awarded by the university; the place and year of the presentation and, in the
case of a printed book, the name of the publishing house, place, year and
eventually the edition number.
    If the author wishes to honor a person or a specific institution with a
dedication, it is a good idea to insert the respective note on the
front side of the second page.
    In certain cases it may be well to draft a prologue or preface, in which
the author formulates certain observations she considers important for
a better understanding of her work, without them being a substantive part
of the text itself. This text should be inserted on the third page.
    In fourth place, according to this ordering, the general index could
follow, specifying the content of the work, and also in such a case, if
they exist, the index of the appendices or annexes and the indices of tables,
graphics, maps and illustrations. But this is not a fixed rule. Many authors
prefer to insert those indices at the end of their work. The one is just as
correct as the other.
    Next comes the text of the exposition, beginning with the introduction
and ending with the summary of the conclusions.
    Immediately following the exposition one should put the annexes or
appendices, identifying each one with a Roman numeral (Appendix I or
Annex II, etc.) and putting their respective titles beneath.
    The bibliography has its best location after the appendices.
    Finally we add the author and subject indexes. In the event that the
general index outline and the other indices mentioned above have not been
inserted before the text of the exposition, they should now be located after
the author and subject indices, as the last element in the work.
    In this manner the ordering of the parts comprising the work is complete,
and the text can now be delivered to someone for the final version.

2. Editing and printing. It would be mistaken to believe that, having
arrived at this point, the work and the responsibility of the author have
ended. No matter how skillful the persons involved in the jobs of editing or
printing the work may be, one cannot count on them committing no errors and
that everything is done one hundred percent correctly.
    If the text of the work is hand-written, however clear the lettering may
be, the possibility always exists that a typist will err, especially when we
deal with texts written in technical language; he will not have time nor be
capable of reflecting in each instance whether what he writes is correct and
makes sense; he simply copies and more cannot be demanded. If the text is
delivered in typescript, it will be easier to reproduce it; yet still in this
case there always exists the possibility of committing errors in those parts
of the text where corrections and insertions have been made by hand.
    No one will have greater responsibility for a work's correct presentation
than its own author. Not even in the case where the author can entrust the
revision of his text to a small group of intimate collaborators will there be
a full guarantee that they will not allow errors of copying or composition to
get through. However fastidious the editor or copy reader or proofreader may
be, it is a job that the author cannot avoid, for he is the most interested
that his work complies with all the rules of a good presentation and is free
from errors and defects.

a) Typescripts. When a text is delivered for typesetting, one should
give extremely clear instructions with regard to the following points:
    At this time, the class of paper to make the copies should be
specified, whether light or regular paper, of letter or office size (by no
means should translucent paper be used for copies).
    The number of copies that are needed must be determined, so that
sufficient quantities of paper of the same cut can be provided in advance.
    The type face must be selected, whether single-spaced or double-
spaced. For thesis texts and others that will be printed, it is always
recommendable to type them double-spaced, or that is leaving a blank between
one line and another. The other form of spacing is applicable to articles
and studies of lesser extension and sometimes when one wants to economize
on paper.
    The margins must be fixed, so that they should be 4 cm. on the left
edges of the pages; 3 cm. at the top; and 2 cm. on the right edge and the
bottom, at least. The reason for these margins is not purely aesthetic; in the
case of a thesis, for example, sufficient margins must be left for gluing and
so that the outer edges of the pages can be cut a few millimeters in order to
even them.
    It must be insisted that from time to time the ink be changed, so that all
the copies shall always appear in a clear and sharp form.
    One should explain the corrections and modifications which have been
made to the manuscript, with the object of preventing possible printing errors.
    Other rules will be communicated regarding the use of capital letters;
the treatment of the tables which are included in the text or separately
copied; as to how titles and subtitles should be written, et cetera.
    Finally instructions must be given for the printer not to worry about
layout and separating the individual written pages, but instead to stack them
as they leave the machine, one atop the other and in strict copy order. In
this way it will be easier to amend the tiny writing defects that always will
be found, passing easily from one draft to the other. Final pagination will be
done later, once all the sheets are revised and corrected.

b) Xeroxed copies. The number of typewritten copies were always limited;
on thin paper eight or ten at the most could be obtained. When a greater
number of copies were needed, one had to revert to one or another of the
usual multi-copy or cartographic systems. The text had been written on
stencils, which served as a matrix to get sometimes hundreds of copies.
    The various multi-copy systems are sufficiently well-known and do not need
to be described in detail here. What is important is that also in this case a
minute revision of the text written on the "stencils" is indispensable, before
feeding them into the copier. This is to say again that the exactness of the
copy can only be guaranteed if the author of the original text herself revises
the "stencil" version.

c) Printed version. In the majority of Latin American universities--and
also in other countries--it is no longer required, as before, that a student's
senior thesis be presented in the form of a printed book or booklet. We
add, nevertheless, some observations in reference to this type of publication,
since it is most probable that the economist, practicing as well as
investigator, sometime will have to come in contact with a printer.
    The text destined for printing should be delivered in a clean copy with
the least possible number of hand corrections. When these cannot be avoided,
they should be written in clear, easily decipherable letters, so as not to
uselessly complicate the life of the editor.
    The tables should be arranged just as they are wanted to be published.
Although publishers in general have personnel well-trained in the composition
of statistical tables, it is in any event convenient that the author determine
their details, for example: the use of capital and lower-case letters in the
titles and in the headings of the columns; the number of typefaces and their
characters (font of 10, 8, 6, etc., black, white, cursive, font face, etc.);
the placement of borders (simple, double, black, etc.) Small statistical
insertions, which need not be presented in the form of synoptic tables, can be
composed by the editor as part of the text itself. But bigger boxes are laid
out by hand as monotype or by another person, the printer. Therefore, upon
preparing a manuscript for publication, it is advisable not to insert the
boxes in the text, but instead to present them on separate sheets with
corresponding numbering, and to place in the copy only a note of addition
to indicate the site where they should be placed within the pagination,
which should be as near as possible to the footnoted text.
    One should proceed in analogous form with the graphics, diagrams,
maps and other drawings, which should be delivered drawn in India ink
and of a size generally not larger than twice what the edition will be.
In each case, one should indicate in centimeters the height and width
to which the templates created originally will be reduced.
    The first proofs of the printing, the galleys, generally already corrected
to begin with by the editors of the publisher's proofs, are given to the
author so that she in turn can submit it to revision. Once the corrections
in the composition of the text are done, the printer will proceed to the page
numbering, once more delivering a proof copy to the author for her revision
and definite approval. With the imprimatur of the author, the work will
be ready for distribution.

d) The technique of correcting typescripts and printing proofs. The revision
of copies and printing proofs has its technique, based upon certain norms
and on experience, which the author of a scientific work should know and
control, to defend the integrity of her work and to purge it of all sorts of
errors that may have slipped into it.
    It is a matter on this occasion of reviewing the work anew, as the author
has already done various times, yet this time with the intention of ensuring
that the text is complete and of correcting the errors that may have been
incurred by the person who edited the copy or the printer. This job requires a
great deal of concentration. The author should be able to totally disengage
from the content of her work and focus solely on the level of the words. The
reader should do this slowly and with the greatest attention possible and
repeat it if she has the impression that some error or other may have been
allowed to pass.
    The correction of typescripts and of "stenciled" writings is simple and
should be able to be controlled by the author without difficulty. If the
persons charged with publication are well-practiced and accustomed to
disciplined work, the possibility of errors should be reduced to a minimum.
On the other hand, that is much higher with typeset texts, which should be
read and corrected with care.
    The first and most important corrections would be made on the galleys. It
would even be possible--though it should not be the rule--to introduce quick
modifications into the text. If there are many corrections and modifications,
one should apply new tests to see, when the first galleys are in hand, whether
they have been printed correctly.
    One must keep in mind that in composition with linotype every line was
composed and derived from ingots of lead. Thus the correction of a single
letter made necessary the composition of the entire new line, which does not
exclude the possibility that this latter line appears with a new error. In
revising, then, and testing to see whether the original error has been
emended, one must re-read the entire line and not only the word in question.
Even more, when the correction affects several lines or when a part of the
text is deleted or a new one added, it is not enough to review only the
modified text, but instead one should re-read the text of the entire part
that the printing has caused to be re-arranged. It is simpler to correct
statistical tables, since their composition by hand or using monotype permits
exchanging any letter or symbol without the need to wholly re-compose the
respective words or numbers. It could happen, nevertheless, that, on making
the correction to the printing, the letter or symbol in question is
equivocally placed, not in the exact spot belonging to it. The conscientious
revision of such corrections by the author is indispensable.
    In the appendix of this book are published a series of symbols for the
most part internationally accepted, which it is wise to use to indicate
corrections in the manuscripts, xeroxed copies and printing proofs. Through
these symbols the editor or printer will immediately note the type of
correction before him. A complete list of the symbols which are used to this
effect would be very long; the National Institute of Standards and Technology
of the University of Chile, in its publication INDITECNOR (2, 3-3) enumerates
47. Nevertheless not covered are some mistakes which, even when they are not
frequent, can be very bothersome and even completely disfigure the text and
the meaning of an exposition.
    It could occur that, upon positing the pagination of a printed text, one
or several of the cast lead lines are lost, so that that part of the text
becomes truncated. If an exhaustive revision of the page proof is not done,
the defect will appear in the definitive edition and then cannot be corrected.
    Similarly it could happen that, even after the approval of the page proof,
due to any accident some elements marking a page could be dropped and, upon
replacement of the text, the order of the lines be inverted. Likewise it could
result that a dropped strip is not replaced, so that in the printed text that
line appears as blank. The responsible one in these cases will be the editor,
but the defects will only be discovered much later, when there is no
possibility of correcting them.
    One of the most bedeviling errors that can occur as easily in the
editing of a text as in its typing, since it could pass unnoticed if the
editor of the proofs--not being the author herself--concentrates solely on the
words of the text and not on its content, is the following:
    When in the description of a case or special situation one uses an
indicative word that two or three lines later in the manuscript is repeated,
but in relation to another aspect, the possibility exists that the eye of the
typist or editor jumps from where the word appears for the first time to
where it repeats, thereby skipping all the intermediate text. It is clear
that, in this way, the meaning that the author had wanted to give to the
explanation could be converted into its exact opposite. An interesting example
in this respect is the case to which Gustav Cassel refers in a footnote on
page 34 of his book, The Downfall of the Gold Standard.(8) There he cites a
paragraph from an article published by himself in the quarterly journal
of the Skandinaviska Kredit Aktiebolaget of July 1922 and in whose
translation into English the part in italic letters of the following sentence
was accidentally omitted: "These conditions, which are the essence of
the gold standard, will always be fulfilled if the central bank is under
obligation always to sell gold at a price slightly above par and likewise
always to buy gold at a price slightly below par." The cause of the error
consisted in that the words, "a price slightly" were repeated in the following
line and the transcriber continued composing the text from that line without
becoming aware of the omission. Nor was the proofreader, who evidently was not
a technician of monetary questions; for otherwise he would have noticed
that the sentence, as it appeared in the translation, was devoid of meaning.
    Anyone who has had to frequently revise the copy or proof of her own
texts, will be familiar with this class of errors. To prevent them it is
useful to put in the margin of a text which eventually could give rise to
such an error, as a note of warning for the typist or editor, in large
letters the words, Be Careful.

3. Some additional advice. We conclude this chapter with some pieces of
advice whose observance should be useful to the economist every time.

a) Preparation of reports. The economist often will find it necessary to
produce a report about some matter related to her professional work. In the
following we cite some paragraphs from the publication INDITECNOR (2, 3-2)
"Reports", published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology
of the University of Chile, which seem of special interest in this case:
4th Article. Every report should satisfy the fundamental purpose of bringing to the understanding of the reader, in a clear and precise way, the evidence related to the material which is treated, the proofs executed and the conclusions to be derived from the respective study. 5th Article. 1. The report should contain all necessary concepts for the consideration of the different aspects of the matter, without excluding those which, although they may seem obvious to the author, could be necessary so that the reader can follow without difficulty the reasoning that leads to the conclusion. 2. They should not incorporate material foreign to the topic or that have slight importance in the clarification of the facts which are offered the reader, or the concepts one wants to substantiate. 3. Established stable and universally supported theories should not be mixed with those being analyzed, or with the provisionally accepted hypotheses. Whether the arguments are exclusively based on personal observation and reasoning of the author, or upon these tests and those performed by other persons, to avoid exaggeration or underestimation of the relevant facts or circumstances in the elucidation of the material under study. 4. One must avoid joining, intermixing or combining data recovered from distinct sources, without being sure they have been obtained with due uniformity of method and criteria. If the data are not transcribed just as it is found in the original source, the process of transformation to which it has been subjected should be explained.
The structure of a report will be, in its basics, the same as that which we have explained in another part of this book in relation to a graduation thesis. The publication of the above-mentioned Institute asserts the following in this regard:
7th Article. 1. Only one aspect of the topic shall be treated in each division, and the material should be developed in a logical order, such that that expressed in each of them derives from the previous one and leads to those which follow. 2. The ideas should be grouped according to their nature, and be presented in groups, duly linked, so that the exposition of the theme unfolds as a coherent, easily comprehensible ensemble. 3. The general structure of a report should be aligned with the following provisions: a) Title. As brief a title as possible should be adopted to clearly and precisely introduce the matter which is treated in the report. A subtitle will be employed when it is indispensable to express some special modality or circumstance of the work, or with the end of limiting the domain that could be attributed to the report by its having been necessary to utilize a title of very wide meaning. b) Abstract. Every report should be preceded by a synoptic summary, in which the essential questions studied and the important conclusions achieved are enumerated. c) Outline. The matters treated are enumerated in an index of titles and subtitles, which can only be omitted in reports of a short length. d) Introduction. The introduction will contain, primarily, an explanation of the purpose and coverage of the work. Then notice would be taken of the state of the matter at the time of the beginning of the study, remembering to mention the information sources consulted to determine it, and to transcribe the notes the author has concerning the studies previously performed of the same material. When the report refers to an experimental work regarding a matter with a theoretical basis, the basic theory would be expounded and developed in the introduction, or in a separate section if it were necessary to give it an extended treatment because the report is destined for readers not familiar with the theoretical aspect in question. e) Body of the report. The body of the report will contain the systematic exposition of the material in each one of its constituent parts. f) Discussion. A critical analysis will be made of the results of the work itself, confronting them with those obtained by other authors, and with the situations in which one or another reached them. g) Conclusion. One should present separately condensed the diverse conclusions derived from the study. In this part would also be included an indication of the essential points whose previous study it is found advisable to recommend because they had not been sufficiently clarified or because new ideas had arisen. h) Bibliography. If the importance or range of the report requires it, a bibliographic index should be added.
We add two more things: 1) When copying the text of a report on a typewriter, it should always be written in a single column and be double-spaced. Single spacing will only be used for footnotes and when one transcribes the text of a citation longer than what fits within the particular sentence where reference to it is made. 2) To join the pages which comprise a report, one should not put the staples in their left edge, but instead in the upper corner and in such a manner that the staple, if it were extended out each direction, would form an equilateral triangle with the corner of the page. In this way it will be easy to turn the pages without them suffering deformation. (It is understood that what is said refers principally to "reports" which, by their nature, will always have a more or less limited length. When one deals with studies or investigatory works of greater size, that are published via one or another of the modern systems of printing, it is likely that the writing appears in both columns of the paper and that they are sewn with staples along the left edge.) b) The use of periods and commas in numbers. The correct use of these symbols is of fundamental importance to facilitate the reading of numbers, especially when they are large, and to avoid an erroneous interpretation of their meaning. The League of Nations, in its time, recommended through its Technical Department that the comma be used to separate the decimal fraction from the whole number and the period or a space to decompose the whole number into groups of three digits. However, a uniform criterion has not been successfully imposed concerning the use of those symbols and, in general, a great anarchy reigns. In the English-speaking countries the period is used to separate the decimal fraction, and the comma to form groups of three digits in the whole numbers. In the rest of the world, some countries follow the same practice in their official publications, and others that recommended by the League of Nations. The instances where mixed systems are used are very numerous or where, due to the author's carelessness, in the same work or study different systems are used. It becomes difficult to know sometimes, at first sight, if the period or the comma in a large number means separation by thousands or a decimal fraction. The following examples may serve to demonstrate the importance of the correct or incorrect use of the symbols mentioned for the reading and interpretation of numbers. The number 27.548 meant on the New York stock exchange (toward the end of 1970) the value of the DM (deutsche Mark) of the Federal Republic of Germany, expressed in cents of a dollar and is read: twenty-seven point five four eight, where these last three digits are a fraction of a penny. According to the other system, the number would be read twenty-seven thousand, five hundred and forty-eight. The difference between the two quantities is appreciable. In Chile, the Pound sterling in 1959 was valued more or less at $2.950, or that is, at two thousand, nine hundred and fifty pesos. After the conversion which was done in that year, the same number was written Eº 2,950 and meant two escudos and nine hundred and fifty thousandths. The diameter of the earth from pole to pole is 12.714 kilometers. In this context, it is understood that the number is twelve thousand, seven hundred and fourteen. Yet in isolated form, in accordance with the English system, the same number could indicate a distance of twelve kilometers and seven hundred fourteen meters. A number like the following: 10962709991,80 could signify estimate for income or expenses of a nation, or the sum of the balance sheet of a great company, or anything else.(9) But the way it is written it could not be pronounced without previously having consecutively divided it by thousands. This way of writing a large number--which fortunately is not very frequent--should be rejected as absolutely unacceptable. The same number can be written in different ways: 10.962.709.991.80 Incorrect 10,962,709,991,80 Incorrect 10.962.709.991,80 Recommended by the League of Nations 10,962,709,991.80 English and North American approach 10,962.709,991.80 Absurd 10 962 709 991,80 Correct, preferable 10 962 709 991.80 Correct As can be seen, the best way to write a large number is: separating the thousands with a blank space and the fractions with a comma or, in agreement with the English and North American systems, with a period. In fractions longer than two digits one should not separate the digits in groups of three, but write them one after the other. The Ludolf (van Ceulen) number, known in mathematics by the symbol pi, is written 3,14159265; parity of the North American dollar with gold is at 0.888671 grams fine; a troy ounce consists of 31,103496 grams. From the discussion it is derived that the economist should pay special attention to the use of the period and comma in the formation of statistical tables or in any numerical analysis. Since a universally accepted norm does not exist regarding the employment of these symbols in numbers, it is indispensable that the author of a scientific work herself adopt a norm based on a rational system and that consequently she follow it throughout her entire work. c) Miscellaneous. There is one word that has no standing in a scientific work: it is the word "I." If its constant repetition sounds bad in a conversation, it is even less bearable in a written text. The investigator should write in a style which avoids everything that could be interpreted by the reader as impertinent presumptuousness; one should be convinced more by the clarity of her reasoning than by the importance which she gives to herself. Therefore, it is not wise to speak to the reader in the first person singular. We admit, however, exceptions. It is justified to speak in the first person singular when the author precedes her work with a preface which explains the reasons that have induced her to write her book and thanks the persons who have granted her their cooperation; when personal experiences are related or when one offers the results of an inspection, of an interview or a personal survey; when one feels obliged to respond to a critic or to make use of the word in a literary discussion; and finally, when one has the certainty that they considers themself, and also will be recognized by others, as a true authority in the field of the science. Yet still in this case it is sometimes preferable not to use "I," but instead to express oneself in the first person plural (pluralis majestatis): "We have tried to give our readers a clear idea of our way of thinking about this matter, et cetera." Other than this case, speaking in the first person plural is perfectly acceptable when the author speaks in the name of various collaborators, or when she uses it in deference to the reader. "Up to now we have analyzed only the first of the cases that we have imagined; let us now look at what will take place in the other." In this fashion, the author invites the reader, by saying it in this way, the reader to put himself on the same plane with her and to pursue the investigation under her direction; it removes from the style some of the cold objectivity of the exposition and tries to establish a more personal contact with the reader. In any scientific work one occasionally uses certain locutions drawn from other languages, in part, because they encompass concepts which in one's own language can only be expressed through more or less long paraphrases; in part, to give a certain elegance to the style; and in part, because their use has simply been generalized for reasons of custom. Below we shall mention some of these borrowed locutions: from Latin: "ad hoc" (pertaining to this specific case); "ceteris paribus" (on the assumption that all else remains equal); "sui generis" (very unique); "mutatis mutandis" (the necessary changes having been made); "a priori" (to indicate knowledge that is independent of experience); "a posteriori" (to indicate knowledge derived from experience); "ex ante" (in advance, with anticipation); "ex post" (later, after); "de jure" (by right); "de facto" (existing fact); "ut exemplum docet" (as the example shows); "sic" (quoted thus); "conditio sine qua non" (indispensable condition); "minimum" and "maximum" (not minimun or maximun); "pari passu" (in "sync") and others; in English: "trend" (intrinsic tendency of a statistical curve); "standard" (pattern, model, norm); "gold exchange standard" and others; from Italian: "per capita" (for each inhabitant); "grosso modo" (in a global fashion); from French: "Laissez faire, laissez passer; le monde va de lui même" (let be, let pass, the world goes its own way; the famous philosophy of the Physiocrats); "fait accompli" (a completed act); "une façon de parler" (a manner of speaking) and others; from German: "Leitmotiv" (principal and dominant theme in the development of an exposition); "Hinterland" (geographical zone behind a port or an industry in the interior of a country); Some Latin words, like "superávit, déficit, item" do not take s in the plural. Special care should be taken to correctly write the proper names of persons or foreign institutions. Even though it may be difficult at times to pronounce those names, in all events one can expect from a conscientious author that she not deform them with errors of transcription. In technical reports, journal articles or studies propagated by xeroxing that, by their nature, do not allow an adequate subdivision of the text into chapters, sections, etc., it could be convenient to number the breaks or paragraphs with Arabic numerals. In this manner the references to specific parts of the writing are facilitated, by simply indicating the respective numbers. The success of a work intended for publication depends not only on its originality and scientific value, but also in good part upon the form in which it is presented. A book printed on light, white paper with clear, clean letters is to be preferred in every case to one printed on ordinary, yellowing paper in small letters that annoy the eye and cannot help leaving the impression that one has wanted to economize too much on the printing costs. The good publishing and printing houses have their own systems of layout and printing of books; yet it will always be wise for the author to ascertain that they fulfill what seems desirable in her case. For example: that good paper is selected; that the lettering font which will be used in the printing is pleasing; that at the end of the book might be added, if it seems useful, some blank pages on which the reader can make annotations; and that it complies with other details like those about to be mentioned. If the book is divided into two or more principal parts, a page should be left between one and the other dedicated solely to the title of the following part. Every chapter should begin on a new page with its title graphic centered atop the page in capital letters. The titles of the sections are written and composed with initial capitals, like the remaining subdivisions. No title of the text, of a table, graphic or of any other figure or illustration will have a final period, with the exception of some cases where the title of a paragraph or break is placed on their first lines immediately followed by the text. In this instance one could also use the colon symbol. The words or sentences that one wants to have stand out from the printed text through bold lettering, italics, small caps or other method should always be clearly indicated by the author in a note on the margin of the page of the manuscript, directed to the editor. The author also will have to decide upon the form to be given to the cover of the binding and, in some instances, the jacket. The lettering and ornamental drawings to be used for these purposes are generally executed by specialized artists, whose names should figure on the overleaf of the sleeve. We mention finally a detail which is also worth keeping in mind. With rare exceptions, all books carry the name of their author and their title on the cover, sometimes too the name of the publishing house. There are three ways of presenting these indications on the spine of the book. When their bulk permits it, one could align the respective words in a horizontal fashion. In other cases the words are placed lengthwise on the spine, with the bottom of the letters either towards the left or else towards the right. Regarding both systems, this latter is the most utilized; nevertheless, the best and most indicated seems to us to be the other. In that case, whenever a book is set upon a table with the cover facing upwards, the printed words on the spine will be readable from left to right and will not seem to be printed upside- down.(10) Footnotes 1. Characteristic of the fact that awareness of this reality is developing, is one of the recommendations formulated by the 2d Latin American Conference of Economic Science Faculties (Rosario, Argentina, Oct.1960) which reads as follows: "WHEREAS: That one of the most effective and least expensive methods contributing to resolve Latin America's great economic problems and of collaborating to raise the living standard of its peoples, the overriding objective for its economic development, consists in the formation of economists though good technical and humanistic preparation; "That we note that the orthodox and most widespread Economic Theory in the academic world today has been elaborated by economists from highly developed countries, in great measure on the basis of observation of reality in those nations; "That the need has been felt to renew the empirical assumptions of certain sectors within traditional economic theory, with the goal of adjusting it to our realities; THEREFORE, The 2d Conference, etc. Recommends "That the Faculties of Economic Science of Latin American intensify their efforts to achieve the formation of economists of high quality, especially who respond to the necessities imposed by Latin American reality." One month previously, in September of 1960, the 1st Latin American Congress of Students of Economic Science held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, had formulated a similar recommendation: "WHEREAS: That the student should opt to prepare in those subjects which concern his generation, his nation, and the rest of the Latin American nations in particular." The 1st Class RESOLVES to recommend: "That simultaneously with theoretic study, it is necessary to implant in the division of political economy in the Department of Economics, an actual dynamic study of the reality to which economic life is subjected in our respective countries. "In this way the study plans of the departments of economics will consider the specific national and regional problems which affect social-economic development. "In the event that the faculties were not to take these aspects into consideration, we recommend that student organizations constitute Centers of Investigation with student participation, to make this economic actualization effective, and to develop a social conscience and a sense of scientific responsibility confronted with the social and economic problems of the moment."
2. See the articles on "Archives" in the Espasa-Calpe and Britannica encyclopedias. 3. For administrative reasons, the Center has had only a brief existence, however, its idea is worthy of being imitated. *. The author appreciates the collaboration of Sr. Manfred Max-Neef, ex- professor at the University of California, with whom he worked to draft this part. 4. For the Spanish language, the supreme authority is the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, edited and periodically revised by the Royal Spanish Academy in Madrid. Other very useful reference works are: La Fuente, Diccionario enciclopédico ilustrado, published under the direction of José Alemany; Diccionario manual Sopena, enciclopédico e ilustrado, Barcelona; Nuevo Pequeño Larousse Ilustrado, Editorial Larousse, Buenos Aires; Resumen Enciclopédico Salvat, 4 volumes, Barcelona; Ensayo de un Diccionario español de sinónimos y antónimos by Federico Carlos Sáinz de Robles, Madrid; Diccionario de sinónimos by F. Seix, Barcelona; Gran Diccionario de sinónimos castellanos by Roque Barcia, Buenos Aires, 1958; the Diccionario de sinónimos castellanos by Grates, Editorial Sopena, Buenos Aires, 1958; and others. 5. Dictionary of statistical terms by Maurice G. Kendall & William R. Buckland, International Statistical Institute, United Nations, 1959; Statistical vocabulary by the Inter-American Statistical Institute, Washington D. C., 1960; and others. 6. "Verbal defects, obtuse slang and feigned scientific jargon", [sic], p.125. 7. In the "Introduction" and the "First Part" of this book the numeration of the notes in consecutive form throughout the text has been used; in the "Second Part" the consecutive numeration [was] limited to notes on the same page. 8. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1936. 9. The number represents the value in USD of the gold held by the Mint of the United States at the end of 1967. Together with 1.819 million controlled by the Treasury and 83 million administered by its Exchange Stabilization Fund, represents the total of the monetary reserves of the U.S.A. after the strong decline it experienced in that year. Annual Report of the Director of the Mint, 1968, Table 17, p.73. 10. The system recommended here is that which is used in various large publishing houses in the United States and some in Europe. The Fondo de Cultura Económica, in all its publications, employs the other system and believes it inconvenient to change this custom.

Dr. Manfred Max-Neef


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