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Economic transformation in theory and practice: What are the messages for Africa?

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  • Breisinger, Clemens
  • Diao, Xinshen

Abstract

"Encouraging signs of growth acceleration in Africa may herald a new development era of rapid transformation. In an effort to promote the future success of African transformation, we herein provide an extensive literature review on development economics and empirical observations from successfully transformed countries, along with analytic narratives on the transformations of Thailand and Mexico. To conclude, we derive six key messages for African transformation. We find that the traditional development economics theory is consistent with the transformation practice of successful countries. However, this theory needs to be broadened in light of rising inequalities during transformation. Success vitally depends on agricultural development; early withdrawal of public support away from agriculture slows down transformation, and the resulting inequalities are recognized as a persistent development challenge. Transformation also depends on industrialization strategies, but we find that winner-picking industrialization negatively affects other aspects of development, whereas home-grown, export-oriented industrialization led by private entrepreneurs opens up broader opportunities for sustainable growth. Finally, government support will be required to create a business-promoting environment and to offer incentives for African entrepreneurs to lead growth." from authors' abstract

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 797.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:797

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Keywords: Economic transformation; Agricultural growth; structural change; Development strategies;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wiebelt, Manfred & Breisinger, Clemens & Ecker, Olivier & Al-Riffai, Perrihan & Robertson, Richard & Thiele, Rainer, 2013. "Compounding food and income insecurity in Yemen: Challenges from climate change," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 77-89.
  2. Al-Riffai, Perrihan & Breisinger, Clemens & Verner, Dorte & Zhu, Tingju, 0. "Droughts in Syria: An Assessment of Impacts and Options for Improving the Resilience of the Poor," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, vol. 51.
  3. Breisinger, Clemens & Diao, Xinshen & Thurlow, James, 2009. "Modeling growth options and structural change to reach middle income country status: The case of Ghana," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 514-525, March.
  4. Janvier D. Nkurunziza, 2010. "Why Is The Financial Sector In Burundi Not Development-Oriented?," RSCAS Working Papers 2010/29, European University Institute.
  5. Kolavalli, Shashi & Robinson, Elizabeth J. Z. & Diao, Xinshen & Alpuerto, Vida & Folledo, Renato & Slavova, Mira & Ngeleza, Guyslain K. & Asante, Felix Ankomah, 2012. "Economic transformation in Ghana: Where will the path lead?," IFPRI discussion papers 1161, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Wiebelt, Manfred & Breisinger, Clemens & Ecker, Olivier & Al-Riffai, Perrihan & Robertson, Richard & Thiele, Rainer, 2011. "Climate change and floods in Yemen: Impacts on food security and options for adaptation," IFPRI discussion papers 1139, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Marcus Böhme & Clemens Breisinger & Rainer Schweickert & Manfred Wiebelt, 2010. "Oil revenues for public investment in Africa: targeting urban or rural areas?," Kiel Working Papers 1623, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  8. Janvier D. Nkurunziza, 2010. "Why Is The Financial Sector In Burundi Not Development-Oriented?," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 29, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  9. Diao, Xinshen & Breisinger, Clemens, 2010. "Foreign inflows and growth challenges for African countries," IFPRI discussion papers 967, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Breisinger, Clemens & Zhu, Tingju & Al Riffai, Perrihan & Nelson, Gerald & Robertson, Richard & Funes, Jose & Verner, Dorte, 2011. "Global and local economic impacts of climate change in Syria and options for adaptation:," IFPRI discussion papers 1091, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  11. Clemens Breisinger & Olivier Ecker & Perrihan Al-Riffai & Richard Robertson & Rainer Thiele, 2011. "Climate Change, Agricultural Production and Food Security: Evidence from Yemen," Kiel Working Papers 1747, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  12. Breisinger, Clemens & van Rheenen, Teunis & Ringler, Claudia & Nin Pratt, Alejandro & Minot, Nicholas & Aragon, Catherine & Yu, Bingxin & Ecker, Olivier & Zhu, Tingju, 2010. "Food security and economic development in the Middle East and North Africa," IFPRI discussion papers 985, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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