chapter  2
11 Pages


The history of Latin American economic thought during the Spanish and Portuguese domination covers over three centuries. Such a long period has still not been thoroughly researched. Ricardo Levene (1885-1959) who devoted his career closely to this matter, coined the phrase ‘Indian economics’ (Levene 1952:33). This chapter closely follows the work of Levene, except that it will trace the works only of those thinkers who were born in what we shall refer to as the New World (Spanish America), or who were there long enough to know and understand the Indian cultural and economic systems. This group would include scholars as Alonso de Zuazó, Bartolomé de las Casas, Tomás de Mercado, José de Acosta, Miguel Agía, Juan de Solórzano y Pereira; and those excluded from this group would be Spaniards such as Uztáriz, Ulloa, and Campomanes, etc., who had never set foot on American soil.