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Uneven Growth: A Framework for Research in Development Economics

  • Ray, Debraj

    (Department of Economics, NYU)

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    The textbook paradigm of economy-wide development rests on the premise of "balanced growth"; that is, on the presumption that all sectors will grow in unison over time as a country gets richer. This view has served us reasonably well in some circumstances, but is not particularly useful for accounts of modern (under)development.In many developing countries, economic growth has been fundamentally uneven: software development, the outsourcing of services, sectoral technological change, quick compositional shifts between agriculture and other sectors, the rise of particular exports, "special" economic zones, and so on. This paper will discuss both the sources of uneven growth, and its implications, with greater emphasis on the latter. The paper will argue that much of the distributional issues, or the reactions to globalization that we see in modern developing societies can be viewed as reactions to a growth process that is fundamentally uneven and is indeed perceived as such.

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    Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 05.

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    Date of creation: 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:05
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    7. Anirban Mitra & Debraj Ray, 2014. "Implications of an Economic Theory of Conflict: Hindu-Muslim Violence in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(4), pages 719 - 765.
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    13. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
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