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New structural economics : a framework for rethinking development

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  • Lin, Justin Yifu

Abstract

As strategies for achieving sustainable growth in developing countries are re-examined in light of the financial crisis, it is critical to take into account structural change and its corollary, industrial upgrading. Economic literature has devoted a great deal of attention to the analysis of technological innovation, but not enough to these equally important issues. The new structural economics outlined in this paper suggests a framework to complement previous approaches in the search for sustainable growth strategies. It takes the following into consideration: First, an economy's structure of factor endowments evolves from one stage of development to another. Therefore, the optimal industrial structure of a given economy will be different at different stages of development. Each industrial structure requires corresponding infrastructure (both"hard"and"soft") to facilitate its operations and transactions. Second, each stage of economic development is a point along the continuum from a low-income agrarian economy to a high-income industrialized economy, not a dichotomy of two economic development stages ("poor"versus"rich"or"developing"versus"industrialized"). Industrial upgrading and infrastructure improvement targets in developing countries should not necessarily draw from those that existin high-income countries. Third, at each given stage of development, the market is the basic mechanism for effective resource allocation. However, economic development as a dynamic process requires industrial upgrading and corresponding improvements in"hard"and"soft"infrastructure at each stage. Such upgrading entails large externalities to firms'transaction costs and returns to capital investment. Thus, in addition to an effective market mechanism, the government should play an active role in facilitating industrial upgrading and infrastructure improvements.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5197.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5197

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  1. An uneasy comparison
    by Ali Kadri in triple crisis on 2011-10-21 13:01:27
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Cited by:
  1. Gaaitzen J. de Vries & Abdul A. Erumban & Marcel P. Timmer & Ilya B. Voskoboynikov & Harry X. Wu, 2011. "Deconstructing The BRICs: Structural Transformation And Aggregate Productivity Growth," HSE Working papers WP BRP 04/EC/2011, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  2. Francis Teal & Markus Eberhardt, 2010. "Aggregation versus Heterogeneity in Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2010-32, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Pi, Jiancai & Zhou, Yu, 2014. "Foreign capital, public infrastructure, and wage inequality in developing countries," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 195-207.
  4. Harrison, Ann & Sepulveda, Claudia, 2011. "Learning from developing country experience : growth and economic thought before and after the 2008-09 crisis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5752, The World Bank.
  5. T. Dinh, Hinh & Mavridis, Dimitris A. & Nguyen, Hoa B., 2010. "The binding constraint on firms'growth in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5485, The World Bank.
  6. Gnidchenko, Andrey, 2010. "Defragmentation of Economic Growth with a Focus on Diversification: Evidence from Russian Economy," MPRA Paper 27113, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Lin, Justin Yifu, 2013. "Global infrastructure initiative and global recovery," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 400-411.
  8. Gnidchenko, Andrey, 2011. "Моделирование Технологических И Институциональных Эффектов В Макроэкономическом Прогнозировании
    [Technologica
    ," MPRA Paper 35484, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2011.
  9. Alexis Habiyaremye, 2013. "Imported Capital Goods and Manufacturing Productivity: Evidence from Botswana's Manufacturing Sector," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 81(4), pages 581-604, December.

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